It is no lie that office relationships can be hard to handle. Since nobody wants complications especially in the place you spend most of your adult life, we try and avoid them. However, some things are just matters of the heart. The heart wants what it wants. So on the occasion, you end up in a relationship with a coworker, you both need to find a way to work through it. Failure to get things in check can actually be catastrophic for both of you emotionally and possibly career wise. So if there is no other option than to work with your partner, here are some tips to help you out.
Check the Employee Handbook
I know, it sounds really formal and all. But workplace rules and regulations were put in place for a reason. Figure out your employers take on office romances. If you are required to sign documents with Human Recourses, please do so. This will rid your relationship of any future complications. Even though it is not stipulated that you do so, it is always safe to inform the human resources department just to be safe. This is especially important in situations where a subordinate is dating their superior. Issues of playing favourites may be of concern and it is important to get ahead of the situation before it messes things up.
Keep your private lives to yourselves
For co-workers who share close relationships, this can be hard. But we all know about office antics. A story shared in secret can end up making rounds. It is okay to have a friend or two that you trust but know where to draw the line when it comes to sharing information about your relationship with others. The most people should know about the two of you is that you are dating or are married. That is it. Whatever happens between the two of you should remain just that- between the two of you. Do not make your relationship milestones and troubles the topic for gossip. It puts unnecessary strain on the relationship.
Okay, I probably do not have to say this but does not hurt to be reminded. There should be no public display of affection of any kind. Treat each other like workmates. Respect each other especially in areas of authority. It does not have to be like a button you switch on and off whenever you are at work and away from work. Just find a balance that will ensure that your work life does not suffer because of your relationship and vice versa.
Know when to switch it off
Just because you work together does not mean that you carry your work out of the workplace. Workplace conversation can be easy to fall back on since you share the same experiences. However, do not allow it to become your entire relationship. It will stunt your growth as a couple. Even though you met at the workplace, you need to find out if you are compatible out of the workplace.
Know what you are getting into
Office relationships are a little bit more complicated than most but if you get the hang of it, you are good to go. There is a lot at stake. Your relationship with coworkers, your career, and your personal life. Ensure what you are getting into is worth it. Be committed to making it work. Breakups are messy but they are even messier in an office setting. In case you break up, not everyone has good intentions. They may want to intentionally harm you or your career. So know all the risks before you jump into anything.
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