When you spend the majority of your day in the office, it’s no surprise that you might find yourself attracted to a co-worker. There are many hidden and not-so-hidden pitfalls when it comes to dating within your office. Some people find that a strict personal rule of no office romance will keep them out of trouble. Others feel it is perfectly acceptable as long as it’s kept professional. If you find yourself attracted to someone at the office, proceed with caution.
Don’t flirt with someone who is married. In all likelihood, it will end in drama and unemployment. Keep your flirting subtle. The entire office doesn’t need to know about the attraction. Instead of throwing yourself at your co-worker, keep it low-key with a few significant looks to judge their reaction.
Don’t put anything in e-mail that could be deemed inappropriate. Many employers monitor e-mails and employee work habits. Be cautious about how you respond to a co-worker while at the office on company work time.
Don’t flirt at work if there’s a strict policy regarding office romance. It’s also not a good idea to flirt with the boss. If you’re the boss, flirting with subordinates is a bad idea too. You don’t want a failed romance to ruin your career.
If you have taken all these “don’ts” into account and find yourself willing to pursue an office romance, do it quietly and with an eye towards keeping your professionalism. Make sure the person is into you before taking that next step. Nothing is worse than asking a colleague out and finding that he or she is not interested. It creates an awkward working environment in the future.
You don’t want to be part of the office gossip mill, so take care in how you approach the situation.