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This post originally appeared on askmen.com.
Love has an uncanny knack of showing up when you least expect it. And when it happens at your workplace, it’s likely to get complicated. That is, if you let it.
This isn’t surprising because people spend most of their time at work, and sparks are bound to fly between co-workers at some point or the other. Behavioural scientist Shilpa Limsay says, “There’s a lot more that is in common – people, work culture, conversations are easier, and a lot more empathy and support involved.”
Would you embark on an office romance?
A former analyst at a research firm, Anindita, who dated her co-worker for a year, believes that office romances are an absolute no-no. She says, “My co-workers were aware of our relationship, so when it ended, it was uncomfortable for everyone around,” adding that “It was hard to remain objective at work, not to mention claustrophobic because I had to deal with him professionally.” Adds Limsay, “It is not easy to switch off; productivity suffers when your partner is staring you in the face.”
However Vandana, a former intern at a media house, believes otherwise. She says, “As long as the romance is between two single people, it does not matter where it happens. It is natural to find love at your workplace because that is where you spend most of your time. It is also a good place to learn about a person’s character – how he interacts with others and reacts under pressure.”
It’s not that complicated. Here are some dos and don’ts:
Love me do
1) Keep it on the down-low: Be discreet about your relationship because this can affect your career.
2) B for Boundaries: It’s easy to get carried away and forget you’re at work. Keep your personal and professional lives independent of each other.
3) You are not at a petting zoo: Nothing is more off-putting than a pair of lovesick employees fawning over each other. Be respectful of the space you share with your colleagues.
4) Exit – stage left: Navigate your exit plan carefully in the event it does not work out. Says Anandita, “Thankfully, I switched jobs when it ended,” of her ill-fated romance.
Love me don’t
5) Don’t date your superior or subordinate: It is one thing to date a peer, and quite another to date a superior or subordinate. “Your achievements, even though they are merited for, become underrated when you date your boss,” says Vandana.
6) Dial down the digital love: Technology, in this case, will be your nightmare. In a multimedia world, photos, messages, and the like will get you into trouble if you are not careful.
7) Off-sites and shindigs are not downtime: Remember this infamous line, “This one time at band-camp…” from the hit franchise American Pie? Exactly. This is not a green signal to let your hair down and party hard. People are watching you, and your histrionics will appear in every conversation thereafter.
Office romances can turn into a minefield, or be a barrel of fun. Tread carefully.
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