Office romance How safe is it?

Finally, you’re convinced that your workmate is your long-lost soul mate. You share the same interests, move in the same after-work social circles, like and dislike the same people, and, as you remind each other often through voice mails, subtle hints and engaging e-mails, you are very much interested in hooking up for a little one-on-one, after-work networking.
How safe is office dating (Internet Photo)
How safe is office dating (Internet Photo)

Finally, you’re convinced that your workmate is your long-lost soul mate. You share the same interests, move in the same after-work social circles, like and dislike the same people, and, as you remind each other often through voice mails, subtle hints and engaging e-mails, you are very much interested in hooking up for a little one-on-one, after-work networking.

In most cases, all of this leads to the official suggestion that the two of you get to know each other better. You ask yourself; will today be the day that you decide to get your honey where you earn your money? Before you make your move, know this: Dating on the job has its advantages, but when it goes sour, it can become the ultimate career-terminating move.

Before you allow an innocent lunch date to become an outright office romance, you may want to give some serious thought to what your conscience and others have to say about hooking up on the job. Some feel that there are some very good reasons for choosing a lover from the office pool. The top three, according a discussion I had with my friends are; proximity, comfort and many chances for spending quality time together.

According to them, love is bound to strike when you put people together. This is where proximity comes in. If two people are together for an extended amount of time (40-plus hours a week), and the two have little time to get out and meet anyone else. The love of your life will be right there, in your face, at least five days a week! How convenient is that?

When it comes to being comfortable, singles meet other singles in so many different ways, over the Internet, blind dates, social events, etc., that dating in the work place makes them feel more comfortable and secure since they are always together.

You are way ahead of the curve when dating a co-worker than you are dating a stranger that you meet in a bar. There’s comfort in the familiar workplace setting and surroundings, which can also lead to feelings of safety.

Chances are, the man or woman in the cubicle next to yours has passed a drug test and has a pretty solid list of references to be able to even get his foot in the door, which apparently makes him or her an upright citizen and much less likely to be a menace to society during their ‘off’ days.

People in love always want to spend lots of time together in order to understand each other. Dating where you spend most of your time allows you to spend quality time and gain valuable insight about how your potential lover really is at home.

This nonetheless has it disadvantages. When you consider the scenario, the three main benefits of dating at work, are the very things that can be compromised when the relationship goes wrong.

Pictures this, Ronah, an accountant, and her ex-boyfriend were members of separate problem-solving teams on the job, but they worked directly together to resolve the issues at hand. “We dated for four years, off and on” Ronah says.

“The horror of dating at work was facing him in between breakups and dealing with his jealousy. He was a cheater, and he, of course, was not very good at cheating. So I had to work with him and talk to him after a quarrel.’”

In another case, a movie producer in Kampala became furious after discovering that his lover/coworker was a lesbian and had gotten herself a woman, and he knew nothing about it. That incident has prompted him to strongly discourage people from dating on the job.

“If the relationship goes bad, it just gets worse if you have to see this person every day during the healing process,” he explains. “Trying to avoid a co-worker in a small building is not an easy task, especially if others always talk about how cool your ex is and how they love working with her.”

Many people; good people, bad people, smart people, dumb-as-rocks people fall in love every day. Before you begin dating on the job, you should check to see if your company even allows you to date on the job.

This is especially true if you have your eye on a supervisor. Many employers frown upon workplace romances between a supervisor and a subordinate, believing that there’s nothing worse than being accused of climbing the corporate ladder because of the relationship.

An office romance survey conducted by the Vault, a leading Internet source for insider company information, advice and career management services, found that although 47 percent of respondents admitted to having an office affair, nearly half of them viewed a relationship between a subordinate and a supervisor as the most unacceptable office union.

Of those who did date a boss or a subordinate, a whopping 30 percent heard a rumor about their relationship, and 3 percent reported that the repercussions included lost credibility, decreased work production and termination.

The issue now is; should someone date a workmate? Regardless of potential problems, some co-workers date, fall in love and get married, all without causing a ripple in the so-called company gossip mill; and some office romances develop into marriages. Others date on the down-low and eventually discover that they’re better off just being office-mates, all without causing a huge gaping hole in their work productivity.

And still others, those who are too immature to handle the added burden of working with someone who they suddenly despise, find themselves in the human resources department waging complaints, or in extreme cases, in the courthouse waging complaints of sexual harassment and unfair treatment.

Before venturing into a workplace romance of your own, you should step back to determine the maturity level of your potential lover, the office climate toward workplace romances, and most importantly, if a gamble on love is worth your reputation, paycheck and perhaps your career.

jeav202@yahoo.com

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