Workplaces are the perfect breeding ground for romantic relationships. These relationships are what we call office romance. Dating someone from the office is often frowned upon. Some companies even list out policies specifically to discourage it. But we’re humans. It’s inevitable that two people who see each other every day are bound to develop chemistry that will result in an office romance.
It’s true that mixing business with pleasure is not always a good idea as it can lead to unwanted consequences. However, as long as there is life, there will always be falling in love even in offices. Some office romance has led to long-lasting marriages. Let’s go ahead and talk about office romance and how to handle it.
What is office romance?
An office romance is a romantic relationship between two people employed by the same employer. However, it is not limited to employees alone. It could be a romantic relationship between an employer and the employee. Melinda Gates was an employee at Microsoft before she met and married the owner, Bill Gates.
Office romance is very common in workplaces. While some don’t mind being open about it particularly if it doesn’t go against office policies, some will prefer to keep their relationships discreet so it doesn’t affect their performances or jobs.
How to start an office romance
Are you interested in a colleague at work and wondering how to start a romantic relationship? Here are 6 effective steps to start an office romance:
1. Have a casual lunch
Companies have cafeterias or canteens where workers have lunch. You can spark up a relationship with your love interest by simply walking up to him or her and having a casual conversation while you eat. Don’t give the impression that there’s an ulterior motive behind your approach. Enjoy lunch with the person by talking about anything under the sun except your interest. The main reason you’re singing this is that you want to be friends and let your love interest relax around you. That way, you get to know the person better without pressure.
2. Have a group happy hour
Happy hour means a group of co-workers going out to have some fun for an hour after work. Now that you’ve had that casual lunch at the office, you can invite your love interest to go out with you and other co-workers for a happy hour. Being outside the work environment will give you the opportunity to know your love interest better. You can do a bit of flirting to see how they will respond to you.
3. Be cool
One of the key ways to get someone to like you is by being cool around them. Don’t show that you’re interested in them yet. Remember you’re casually getting to know the person better. Giving away your feelings too soon may make the person recoil from you, especially if they are not ready to be in a romantic relationship. Be friendly and cool. Pace yourself. You’ll get there.
4. Send a playful text message
Now that you’re friends with your love interest, you can begin sending playful text messages just to make them laugh. Remember, playful, not sexting. Sexting someone you’re not in a relationship with is a no-no. You will turn out to be that creepy person that everyone sees and dreads in movies. Just keep your messages light and fun.
5. Start an email banter
As your casual friendship progresses, you can begin some playful emails during the day. Of course, you should keep it light and funny. For instance, you can tell the person about a funny office rumor you heard. You can even forward a funny email a friend sent to you. These are ways to flirt with your love interest without appearing too obvious. If they respond positively, then you’re almost close to winning their hearts.
6. Ask for a date
You can start by casually asking them if they’re free on, let’s say Friday night, for a date. Note that asking them out for a date is an indirect way of showing you want more than a casual friendship with them. But it doesn’t matter at this point. If they accept and seem to enjoy hanging out with you, then you’re there. Congratulations!
Advantages of office romance
- Boosts work energy. Colleagues who are in love with each other perform better at the office than earlier before the romantic relationships started.
- Office romance also boosts creativity in workers who are in love. Their positive energy towards each other will encourage them to be more collaborative and creative in their work approach.
- Partners feel more comfortable expressing their views and criticism about each other regarding their projects.
Disadvantages of office romance
- Mixing business with pleasure often doesn’t work out. Your personal life is no longer personal but the business of the entire office.
- The relationship may end on a bitter note and seeing your ex every day at work will make the heartbreak worse.
- One partner may be promoted ahead of the other which can affect their relationship.
- You can’t escape after a fight with your partner because you’re in the same office together.
- Dating someone from the office means you get to spend more time together. Spending too much time together can be boring.
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Romantic relationships in the workplace policy
As previously stated, companies have written office policies on romantic relationships among workers. However, some companies are strictly against office romance because it “can adversely affect employee morale and productivity by distracting the romantic partners and their co-workers,” said Dana Chang Dikas, an attorney with labor and employment law firm Fisher Phillips.
On the other hand, some companies encourage their workers to socialize and develop professional relationships in the workplace provided that these relationships do not interfere with work performance. Workers are allowed to date one another provided that they understand their professional responsibilities and will be responsible for assuring that the relationship does not raise concerns about favoritism, bias, ethics, and conflict of interest.
Office romance drama
Office romance is a movie genre about all the ups and downs of workplace courtships. Korean movies popularly known as K-dramas are particularly popular for showing interesting office romance drama movies. If you love secret romances, handsome CEOs falling for their pretty workers, and stolen glances in the hallways, then you’ll probably love K-dramas. Nollywood also shows office romance but they aren’t as common as K-drama.
Finally, office romance can be fun and sweet but the downside is it may affect your work/life balance especially if you end up chopping breakfast.