When two people are thrown together for long hours at the office and have similar interests, it’s easy for romance to bloom. On the other hand, an office romance can get in the way of true professionalism and create trouble for you at the workplace. Office romances are always a dangerous bet, so if you think that your only chance at love is in the workplace, think about the following reasons to avoid mixing business with pleasure:
1. Your work efficiency will be reduced
When the object of your desire is within your view during the work day, your job performance can begin to suffer. Your mind will become so preoccupied with looking for ways to sneak off for romantic interludes that you begin neglecting or delivering low-quality work and end up compromising safety and security aspects. Once that happens, your boss along with your entire department and coworkers could lose confidence in your abilities and lose faith in your dependability.
Once your relationship is exposed in front of your coworkers, your private life won’t be private anymore. Being the subject of office gossip can destroy your chances for promotion and severely harm your professional image. Furthermore, if you gossiped about other coworkers with her or bad-mouthed anyone during your good times together, there’s a chance that those comments will come back to haunt you.
3. Breakups could make for a hostile workplace
Let’s face it – most office romances don’t last, and when relationships outside of the workplace fail, the other half of the failed relationship will be in constant company, making the environment very uncomfortable and strained. If she is the instigator of the breakup or decides she just wants to be friends, jealousy may take its toll on you when you witness her flirting with other employees, going out on lunch dates and moving on with her life without you. On the other hand, if you ended the relationship, she might try making your life hell at work–and possibly try to get you fired.
4. It could lead to a sexual harassment suit against you
When subordinates date and then break up, the possibility of a sexual harassment suit is a real concern. The smiles and occasional glances, flirting, playful jokes, letters and naughty e-mails that were thought to be fun and flirty during the relationship could become evidence against you when dealing with someone who resisted the breakup and subsequently wants to hurt you.