The Pros and Cons of an Office Romance
Considering dating a co-worker? OK, nothing takes the romance out of a situation faster than making a list of plusses and minuses, but the potential perils of dating a co-worker suggest it’s worth seriously weighing the pros and cons. An office romance can quickly get way more complicated than other romantic entanglements.
Here are some considerations (add or subtract the specifics of your own situation, of course):
- You already have a lot in common (work, for one thing!)
- You probably already have a good sense of each other’s intelligence, ability to handle stress, and sense of humor.
- You understand the pressures and demands of each other’s work-lives.
- Romance makes time spent at work more bearable (enjoyable, even!)
- If it doesn’t work out, you have to see or even work with each other every day, day in, day out.
- One of you may be promoted while the other is passed over — how would you feel
- You will both become the subject of office gossip — no matter how well you try to keep it secret, it will get out eventually.
- It could effect your job performance — longer lunches together are temptations, but also your ability to collaborate effectively or judge the other person’s work fairly may be compromised.
- If one of the parties supervises the other, there are bound to be allegations of favoritism from colleagues.
It’s a situation that can only be assessed knowing all the specifics of that situation, workplace, and the individual. We all know happy couples who met at work. And we all know horror stories and unhappy couples. Just go into it with your eyes wide open. Another caveat: if it does go beyond a fling, be open with your supervisor or HR at a reasonable time so everyone understands possible impacts and potential professional ramifications.