Louanne Ward, founder of Matchmaking, shares her insight into office romances and whether they are taboo or not.
Whatever happened to the good old days, when you could date whoever you liked? These days there are so many restrictions on what is politically correct when it comes to dating that our dating pool has become more like a dating puddle.
With countless stories of bad experiences from online dating and the swipe right culture putting us off, turning to a more organic approach of meeting someone just by going about our daily lives seems more and more unlikely as everybody is too busy on their phone to approach a stranger anymore; and now with the workplace being taboo, what’s left? Are we doomed to fish from a pool of frogs? Or can we date a co-worker successfully?
Modern love in the workplace
10 to 15 years ago, dating a co-worker was as ingrained in workplace culture as a Friday long lunch. Which is no surprise, as many a workplace romance was born from a Friday lunch; but those days are well and truly over. It’s now frowned upon to be cavorting with the person across the cubicle. In some workplaces it has even become a contractual obligation. To understand the complexities of dating a co-worker it is wise to consider the potential risk and reward before allowing your lack of other options, emotions and raging hormones to get the better of you.
1# Productivity killer
Being in love has symptoms hard to ignore, you wake up thinking about them, spend your day messaging them and talking to anyone who’ll listen about how wonderful they are, in the same work place you sneak cheeky breaks together and spend more time around the photocopier and water cooler just to be close– in the eyes of your employer this doesn’t make for a productive worker and performance from one both is compromised.
2# Fall Out from The Break-up
The thing with relationships, you never know how long they’ll last and or how bad a break-up may be, and that’s a gamble, big businesses don’t want to take. The tension, awkwardness and animosity can ruin your work life as well as those around you. By banning the intra-office interaction, businesses get to protect the interests of all their employees.
3# The overflow effect
There is a danger of bringing the issues from the bedroom, into the boardroom, which can be very awkward – no one wants to be exposed to your dirty laundry. Then there’s also the issue of affection; hands-on at home and hands-off at work both creating extra rules for the relationship
4# Dating the boss
Dating your boss is a bit of a dating no-no for good reason. It’s so complicated; it needs a new word for complicated (a more complicated one). It might seem like an attractive option, but at the end of the day whether it rears its ugly head in one month, 1 year or 1 decade dating your boss, the relationship dynamics are off. There’s always the dominant one and the submissive one; it’s more than a couple shades of grey for the two of you and the whole office, company or corporation
Now you’ve considered the calculated risks if the office romance has a potential for more the best way to progress is to tell your boss. Sit down in a 3way meeting, be up front, honest and willing to allow your boss set boundaries. Be empathetic towards their position as they have a team to manage and a business to run. Honesty and foresight are much more conducive to workplace harmony than dishonesty and hindsight.
The Carousel would like to thank Louanne Ward for this article. Her website is here.