Workplace Romance: The Rewards & Risks

The economy, layoffs and cutbacks can make the workplace a scary place; but it seems love is triumphing.  Recent research reveals cupid is at work year-around at the water cooler, the break-room and boardroom alike!

Nearly seven out of ten singles or 67% of the U.S. workforce has had a relationship with a co-worker at some point in their careers according to a nationwide survey conducted by Impulse Research.  More than a thousand people in the survey reported spending more time at work and the office has become the new spot to find someone who melts your heart!  Sixty percent of Americans feel it is appropriate to pursue a romantic relationship with a co-worker, and nearly 75% admit to having a crush on a colleague.

While a budding romance with a co-worker can give you another reason to look forward to heading to work in these uncertain times; it can also be risky business. In the worst-case scenario a soured romance could damage your professional reputation, cost you your job or result in sexual harassment charges.  Be prepared for office gossip, jealousy, tension and a lack of space, not to mention the possibility you’ll have to keep working with your sweetheart after a breakup.

Before you jump into the romance, weigh the professional risks with the personal rewards of your particular situation. While some office connections may be acceptable, dating the person you report to, or someone who reports to you, is not.   It is a good idea to do a little research—find if your company has policies on dating. It may forbid or strongly discourage relationships between certain people in the company or require you to report the relationship when it begins. Look around you. Are other co-workers dating? How do they handle the situation? Has the relationship affected their careers or their reputations around the office?    SBTV.com has some rules to follow for moving a business relationship into a romantic hook-up in this short video- just click here to view.

Did your current relationship start with a work or business connection?  If so, please let me know what challenges you faced and if you have tips for others who find love at work.

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