The truth of the matter is that a day has 24 hours. And apart from sleeping…the next place an individual spends more time at is the work place. Which means that there is a serious probability that if you are single you might end up mingling in the office. And you might be lucky enough to find love there. So now you found love in the workplace, what do you do? How do you manage it? What are the don’ts and the dos of love in the workplace? Here are few points to serve as guide.
What is your organization’s official policy?
If your organization clearly states that couples are not allowed to marry and remain in the work place, it means that from the beginning you know that if you end up as a couple one of you will have to leave. So when you are playing love in the workplace you need to have this in your mind. [In this case] when you notice that your relationship is becoming that serious you need to have that conversation with your partner.
I am not saying love is more important; I am not saying that career is more important. But you need to start building your bridges.
If for example, you are in different departments and you have two different roles but your employer says love is not allowed in the work place, who is going to go between the two of you? That’s the type of conversation you need to have with your partner. Both of you have to be logical.
One way to look at it is, ‘which person has more growth opportunities in this company?’ ‘Which person has more career opportunities outside?’ So which of you will have to step out? That’s the conversation you need to have with your partner.
No PDAs in the office
When I say no PDAs I mean no public display of affection in the office. You can give yourselves the look, but no hugging, no kissing, no touching; keep if professional. The office is work environment. We don’t need you to come and flaunt your love in the office and make other people uncomfortable. So no PDAs in the office. No use of endearment words such as horny, sugar-pie, whatever; no.
If you are not yet getting married, do not announce your relationship
For example, people might assume that you are a couple but you don’t need to confirm their assumption. You are only allowed to confirm their assumptions when your (wedding) invitation card is ready. If there is no wedding invitation card do not confirm any assumption – they will ask, they will insinuate, keep them guessing.
Even if you are a couple – I am not asking you to deny your relationship – keep your relationship professionally and strictly out of the office. Don’t confirm anything. Don’t say anything.
Don’t decide to make your co-worker your relationship or marriage councilor because once A knows, B knows and C knows. So unless there is an invitation card, deny, deny, deny.
No gumming body
When I say no gummy body I mean no leaving your desk and coming over to sit at your partner’s desk and be looking – his eyes are blue, and leaving your work. You are there in the office to do something so do that and go home. When you go home or when you leave the office environment you can start your lovey-dovey. Don’t be in your partner’s space except it is a work related inquiry.
Keep strictly professional
When I say strictly professional I mean there are some days you are angry at your partner, you may be irritated by him or her, but remember this is still your colleague. So you need to use professional language and behavior when you address him or her. Even when you don’t like your partner at that point because of your relationship issue, you must always act professional around the office environment.
If your lover also happens to be your boss
If your lover happens to be your boss, you need to know that there are hierarchies in the organization. Even if you have a relationship with this person, the respect that a boss demands you must always give to this person. And if you are the man, and this lady is your boss, remember that she may be the boss in the office, and your partner at home you need to clearly differentiate the line of she being your boss in the office and your partner at home.
If the lady is your boss, and your office culture demands that you address your boss as Ma’am, you have to continue with the culture even if she is your babe at home. But if that is not your culture fine; but you can’t come to your boss’s office and sit at her table. Only appropriate and professional behaviours are allowed in the office.
For office lovers, there is a day that you dread – valentine’s day. How do you handle that? My own opinion is that if you are supposed to send your babe flowers in the office you can do it anonymously and nobody knows it is coming from you. Because there is a line if you cross, it might be difficult to uncross. If you are sending you babe flowers, do it with a courier and let them seal it with your per name that only the two of you know, especially on valentine’s day.
Extra marital affairs
Well, this again is my own philosophy, but if there is an extra marital affair – that is one party is married, such relationship should never be encouraged, should not be allowed to happen in the office. I think that is a serious recipe for disaster because it means somebody is in a position of power, or somebody is abusing his or her power. So I always advise young people not to go into that kind of a relationship. Love affair in the office is a different case when both parties are single, but if one is married what is the end of such an affair? We strictly discourage such type of relationship.
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