Rules for dating a work colleague


27-Nov-2014 15:48

In large workplaces ‘office romances’ are inevitable but being mature and setting ground rules from the start can save a lot of problems in the future.It has never been a good idea to date a work colleague, to the point where many companies these days have included something about it in their company policy.A recent survey of US office workers found that attitudes are becoming more accepting, especially amongst Millennials.An impressive 84% of workers aged between 18 and 29 said they would have a romantic relationship with a co-worker, compared to just 36% of Generation X workers and 29 % of Baby Boomers according to a recent poll by consultancy firm Workplace Options.What’s more, 40% of Millenials wouldn't have a problem if a colleague starts dating their supervisor. Barack and Michelle Obama met at Chicago law firm Sidley and Austin in 1989 when Michelle was asked the mentor the future US president when he worked as her summer associate. Vault.com's poll found that 20% of women have dated a supervisor while only 9% of men have dated their boss.Workplace romances will continue to rise because we are spending more time on the job, said Dr Sean Horan, of the College of Communication at De Paul University: “If you’re going out less, and working more, you’re likely to form closer bonds and feelings of attraction toward your co-worker”.“Romance at work might not be possible to manage as such," she said.

But while workplace romances are common, Professor Fiona Wilson of the University of Glasgow's business school warns that they remain complex, and are a tricky issue for managers and the individuals involved to handle.

It’s easy to think you can keep the romance until after hours but unless strict ground rules are in place and adhered to then little glances will soon become naughty little emails and giggling behind the water cooler.

It causes particular problems when one person is superior to the other in authority.

Read my experience of dating a work colleague, the companies reaction and how it affected my career.

Even where favouritism is not an issue, if your relationship is known then accusations will usually lead in that direction.

However, love finds us where it can and sometimes we have to make life choices that are not just about our career.



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