Dating a co-worker has always had a bad rap. With all the public scandals broadcast daily in national media coverage and all the horror stories coming from your friends, it's hard to believe that anyone would try dating someone from their office. According to stats, about half of all Americans will date on the job and about one in five of these will end up in a long-term relationship.
The truth is that dating a co-worker can be very rewarding. More often than not you have something in common; you clearly enjoy the same kind of work and your schedules will be similar, which makes it easier to plan dates and together time. Overtime and late nights can take on a whole new dynamic - not that we're promoting sex in the contracts library - but hey, if it works, work it out.
When you begin an office romance you need to be much clearer about what happens if you break up because the repercussions can be costly. It will take a little bit more maneuvering on both your parts, but it is possible to maintain a normal working relationship if you do break up. Before things get serious, set up a dating prenup for office behavior post breakup. Lay some ground rules; these should always include keeping the breakup out of the office and never bringing coworkers into the mess.
Office romances can work out, in fact they're pretty much inevitable at times, but there are some office romances you should avoid at all costs. If you have to dip your pen in the proverbial "ink" keep it away from anyone wearing a wedding band and someone who you technically call your "boss." Both of these scenarios can create a lot of drama and possibly cost you your job (and possibly your life if an angry husband finds out).
December 12, 2007