The DOs and DON’Ts of office dating
It’s one thing sharing gossip with colleagues over the water cooler, but what if you want to start sharing something more personal with one colleague in particular? Entering into a romantic relationship with a co-worker can be tricky, and in some cases downright forbidden. So if you’re thinking of asking the cute accountant to join you for an after-work meeting, here’s what you need to know, first:
DON’T date the boss
Even if you were considering something extra-curricular with a manager or a superior, most companies have a clause in their contracts that prevents those in management positions from dating subordinates. At best, a case could be lodged for favouritism, at worst, for sexual harassment. Leave this sticky situation well enough alone and give your boss a wide berth.
DO stay on your own level
While some businesses have very strict policies against inter-office dating, others do allow relationships between co-workers on the same level or within different departments. Check your employment contract carefully to familiarise yourself with your company’s specific policy and make sure you know what the consequences are before you take an innocent flirtation further.
DON’T keep it a secret
You might think it’s a good idea to keep your relationship under wraps, but the truth is that you most likely aren’t fooling anyone – and gossip can become harmful if left unchecked. As soon as you feel that your relationship is becoming serious, disclose it to your manager or HR department to avoid any potential awkwardness down the line. It may be a little embarrassing at first, but you’ll soon be able to enjoy post-work events together without the stress of being ‘found out’.
DO communicate effectively
In a social setting, you can drop hints and flirt until the guy you like makes a move. At work, you get one shot only – anything more and you could be liable for sexual harassment. With that in mind, invite the object of your affections out for a drink or a bite to eat, but be prepared to drop it if they say no. Repeated invites will only make you look desperate and could land you in hot water, too.
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