Workplace harassment of a sexual nature is universally frowned up. However, when it comes to dating co-workers, opinions tend to be a bit murkier. It’s natural that you form bonds with the people you work with, and some employees take these bonds to another level by entering into romantic relationships with co-workers. The Balance offers the following advice in this case.
Be careful about power dynamics
While very few people enter into a romantic relationship looking towards the end, the fact is your office romance may sour at some point. If you’re in a position of authority over your former partner, this could lead to accusations of harassment or worse. In this case, make sure you conduct yourself with decorum at all times. Never put romantic pressure on others even jokingly and make sure your feelings are mutual before pursuing the relationship.
Don’t romance interfere at work
It can be hard to be critical of a romantic partner. In the workplace, you may need to offer professional insight or even criticize your partner’s work output. In the best-case scenario, letting a person you’re romantically involved with off the hook will affect the quality of the work performed. In the worse-case, it will lead others to accuse you of favoritism, which could put your job in jeopardy.
Always be discrete
Even if you have a healthy and fulfilling relationship, consider keeping the partnership discrete. While you should stop short of denying your relationship exists or lying to conceal it, keep displays of affection and romantic gestures to a minimum while at work. This will prevent your co-workers from being uncomfortable as well as covering you in the event you and the other employee end up parting ways.