Romance in the office is the topic du jour on Valentine’s Day. This year is no exception as BusinessWeek offers The Ethics of Office Romance. I did enjoy the author’s take:
The implications for the workplace are this: The odds against an office romance succeeding are just slightly better than what you’d find at the worst casino in Las Vegas. When you lose at roulette or keno, though, you’re out only a couple of bucks (if you’re smart), and that’s the end of it. When you lose the game of love at the office, you still have to face the other person day after day. That constant reminder of a relationship that didn’t work out is a painful burden to bear, and it can affect how well you are able to do your job, which is the main, if not sole, reason we’re employed in the first place.
How true. The article continues with all of the pitfalls that accompany an office romance. Yet, towards the end of the article, the author offers this advice for those who want to push forward with a romance:
1. Proceed with your eyes wide open. Be prepared to accept the consequences, whether or not the relationship succeeds. If co-workers complain or your work suffers, you may have to be transferred to another department, or you may even lose your job, so have a backup plan for employment.
2. Be discreet. Even if everyone in the office knows love is in the air, do your best to avoid PDAs (i.e., public displays of affection, not personal digital assistants. I’ll discuss those distractions in a future column).
3. Just don’t do it if the object of your affection is your boss or assistant. There is no good way to effectively handle such relationships other than preventing them from happening in the first place.
Good advice in my opinion. And I say that as a man who met and married the woman of his dreams at work.