Romance by the copier? Beware

Last Updated 25 January 2010, 16:27 IST
Romance by the copier? Beware

Consider the practicalities and consequences - if things turn sour, you might have to move on.
Question Time - Be guided by common sense and ask yourself some serious questions:

Are there any conflicts of interest?
How much do you have to work together?
Are either of you privy to confidential information that might create a divide?
Does your employer have a policy on relationships between staff?
Are you happy to be the subject of gossip and speculation?
Are you prepared to leave your job if it doesn’t work out?
Keeping it Quiet - Don't jump the gun. Be patient and find your feet before going public:
 If it’s early days, be as discreet as possible and keep it between yourselves.
 Be cautious of using work email to communicate anything personal; opt for personal web-based mail instead.
Spilling the Beans - No matter how professional you are, others might be judgmental about your relationship:When you become an established couple, consider being open and letting everyone know. This allows you to control the spread of the news rather than rely on the office grapevine.

The exception to this rule is if one of you is married. In that case, don’t tell anyone. Co-workers will most likely take the moral high ground and rightly remind you that you’re playing with fire.
Remember that your other half is everyone else’s colleague, so don’t embarrass them by discussing inappropriate or personal topics.
Don’t bring any relationship problems to work. Never, ever, argue or hold grudges. in the office.
Next Steps - If you find that mixing business with pleasure is affecting your work or your relationship adversely, assess your priorities and act decisively:

Often couples find it too difficult to work together. If the relationship is going strong but work isn’t, then one of you may choose to move companies for love to survive.
If a break-up is on the cards, however, brace yourself. It will be traumatic and public, no matter how careful you are.
Remain gracious and professional at all times. People will talk and “I told you so” may be a well-used phrase.

It is the sad fact that in most cases, ex’s can’t work together and one of you will be forced to leave your job.

Office romance is a risky business. The workplace can be a challenging environment at the best of times, so don’t embark upon any romantic liaison without fully contemplating the consequences and carefully managing some serious office politics.

(Published 25 January 2010, 16:25 IST)

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