By Simran Mangharam, Co-Founder of Floh.
There’s a certain adrenaline rush that comes from breaking the rules, and even if dating the boss is not technically breaking any of them in your organisation, it’s a pretty risky path to tread!
It’s not easy to control how you feel about someone – love and hate in particular are wildly strong emotions, but it’s usually the latter that people feel about their bosses. While it’s great that you get along like a house on fire, but if admiration is turning into attraction, you should take a step back and think about the line you’re about to cross! After all, even if you don’t land yourself in the worst case scenario (which of course is you getting fired for an inter-office romance that’s frowned upon by the dreaded HR team), it will still lead to friction and a lot of changes in the office. So, it’s safe to say that being tactful about approaching a situation like this, and keeping a few important tips in mind, is imperative.
If you don’t have a copy of the company’s rules and regulations, this is the perfect time to get one. Sometimes, just reading about the consequences of dating someone at work is enough to ward off the attraction or control the flirting. While it’s never a good idea to get involved with someone you have to report to, if you still decide to take the plunge, at least you will be aware of your company’s stance on it.
Avoid conflict with other employees
Unless you’re the assistant to a one-man show, you’re not going to be the only one reporting to your boss. There’s going to be a conflict of interest among your peers if you’re the one dating a superior. Even if your partner tries to treat you as fairly as possible, be prepared for other employees to see the situation differently. You may have to deal with complaints, disgruntled employees and often even a lack of respect. If you’re really unlucky, you will also end up being treated harsher by said boss, just because he/she doesn’t want to play favourites. Now think about it – is it really worth getting into?
Manage your schedules right
Let’s imagine that you’ve pulled off the inevitable –your company has permitted you to date your senior and you’ve even mastered to turn off the flirting at work. Your fellow employees are happy for you, not disgruntled. Now all you need to do is manage your schedules in a way that keeps your work and personal life separate. If you’re in it for the long haul, stop sneaking around, and be more open with your company. From syncing vacations, to arranging days off together, it’s an uphill climb, especially if you’re at closer levels on the same team.
Be prepared for a pushback
It’s all sunny in the workplace when you’ve just started dating. You adore each other and working together is a dream. Once you’ve been in the relationship for a while however, you begin to notice the way they chew with their mouths open, flick their pen when they talk… No matter how much attraction there was when you were just colleagues, a relationship can often ruin a working partnership. You need to be prepared to deal with finding it harder to take instruction from someone you know so intimately (often without questioning it!) and keep your work relationship steady even if your personal one is filled with ups and downs.
Now that you’re armed and ready to face the consequences, make your decision wisely! Are you really ready for the big step? If you think your boss is the one, it may be time to let them know. If it doesn’t seem like it’s worth it but there’s still an undeniable attraction, stick to some harmless flirting. Who knows, that could even be more fun!