It may have started off innocently enough, sharing lunches and inside jokes. But over time, the inside jokes led to deep, personal convos, mixed in with a dash of flirting.
Before you know it, you start looking forward to seeing him or her in the weekly meetings. Your heart beats a little faster when he or she walks through the door. And then all of a sudden, you realize that you’re all in the feels for your coworker.
Most people spend 40 percent of their waking hours at work, so it’s not surprising that romantic relationships can blossom in the office. While indulging in a little cubicle love can spice up an otherwise drab work week, crossing into work-boo territory can be detrimental to your personal life and career. Before you dive full fledged into a fiery office romance, beware of the dangers it can bring. Career coach, Hallie Crawford, points out four risks that can pop up when dating your coworker.
1) Do you really know your coworker outside of work?
Everyone has a work persona and a personal persona. Unless you have spent a lot of time with them outside of work for some reason, you may not really know your workplace crush. Usually, people are at their best at work so you are not always getting an accurate reflection of who they are as a whole.
2) Alienating yourself from your team.
The danger here is that your teammates or anyone else in your department may feel concerned about favoritism. You favoring your partner’s professional opinion or vice versa may affect your relationship with them, which could alienate you from your team.
3) Having to deal with an office break up.
Ending a workplace romance can be very awkward, namely having to still see that person at the office regularly. It can also be awkward for those around you, as they may be unsure if you both can remain amicable. Others may simply wonder about the details of the break up – which could expose you to unwanted drama and gossip, which brings me to my next point.
4) You run the risk of being the target of office gossip.
You never want to give others a reason to gossip about you. This can impact your professional image and your brand, as well as your credibility as a professional. For example, if your image is affected negatively, it could also impact your ability to earn a promotion. So think first and if you decide to engage in it, be overly cautious about how you handle a workplace romance.
Before you hook up with your new office bae, think twice about the necessity of your job. If it’s on the risky (not just risqué) side and may put your job on the line (or make your work life miserable and awkward), then perhaps you should sideline your situation and put your job first. However, if it’s the real deal and your job allows it, then go for it. Get your Jay-Z and Beyoncé on. Remember to stay away from the drama and keep it super low key meaning no arguments at the office and save the PDA for your PTO!