Given how much time people spend in close proximity at work, it’s no wonder why so many of them are excited about finding passion in the workplace. In fact, research reveals that one out of every three people admits to having a sexual, romantic liaison with a coworker and has actually had sex while working.
So, whether you’re just thinking about hooking up with the cute guy in accounting or you’re already involved with “Mr. Hot Stuff” at work, here’s the lowdown on how to avoid heartache on the job, not to mention the unemployment line.
1. If he’s married walk away (run if you have to).
This is a ‘lose-lose’ situation for everyone concerned. You will find little to no support for ‘playing’ with somebody else’s husband. Don’t be surprised if you leave work some night and find obscene words painted across the hood of your car – it happens. It’s nice to be noticed by other people after a few years of marriage, but that’s where it should stop; ‘looky no touchy’. Think of the kids involved and how it will impact their lives forever.
2. It’s okay to discreetly flirt.
What’s the secret to a great office romance? Discretion, of course. Stolen glances and accidentally brushing someone’s arm is more alluring than bending over his desk in an obvious effort to be noticed. And remember, people are watching you. Subtle flirting enables you to maintain your sense of professionalism while keeping an air of mystery and everyone guessing about your sexy object of desire.
3. Don’t misread the signals.
You risk a great deal of humiliation and perhaps even your career if you make advances toward your boss and he doesn’t have a clue why you’re doing so. Do your homework first. Is he really interested in you? If you like this guy, become friends with him first and go from there.
4. Keep “sex” out of the workplace.
Office romance is exciting indeed, but don’t let it go too far and actually do the deed right there at work. Today, there are security cameras installed virtually everywhere. Getting caught having sex at work is not only embarrassing, you’ll likely lose your job as well. Save your hot passion for after hours if you value your paycheck.
5. Don’t overdo it with your appearance.
Putting on too much makeup and shortening your skirts is an obvious ploy that you’re after someone. Therefore, if you don’t want your coworkers wagging their tongues and gossiping about you behind your back everyday, be a little more subtle regarding your dress code and makeup.
6. Watch your e-mails and carefully read them over before you hit send.
Most companies monitor e-mails today and are quite aware of what and to whom you’re sending hot, sexy tidbits about what you’d like to do them in the board room after lunch. Be very aware of what’s in those e-mails prior to hitting ‘send’.
7. Are you the only one he’s pursuing?
In any romance setting, all participants are extremely vulnerable. But, how many participants are there? Yes, this office romance thing is fun and exciting, but if there’s more than one prey that the predator is pursing, all prey looks foolish.
8. Be aware of the laws and rules of your particular company.
Even though there’s no specific laws that say office romances are actually illegal, your company may have specific rules and policies in place that forbid it. Overall, office romances are generally frowned upon due to the huge issue of confidentiality and discretion. For example, a company may be concerned if the head of IT was seeing another colleague since sensitive data could slip out over pillow talk on Sunday morning.
If you’re madly in love with this guy, make sure he’s worth risking your friends, colleagues, and ultimately your career. If he’s just a toy – move on. If he’s the ‘real deal’, then make it official.