Posted: 02.14.2019
Love is in the air – can you feel it? This Valentine’s Day, the team is offering some advice when it comes to inter-office relationships and how to successfully navigate them. Love happens – we get it. With approximately two thirds of one’s day being spent at work it’s only natural for romance to blossom in the workplace. recently polled over 100 Employers throughout the GTA and found that over 41% of those surveyed have admitted to having had or are currently engaged in an office romance with a co-worker. Keeping this statistic in mind, allow us to share some tips that will come in handy when pursuing an inter-office romance.

1. Research Company Policies: First and foremost, make yourself aware of the rules. It’s important to find out what the organization’s stance is on inter-office dating before jumping into a relationship with a colleague. If you are serious about pursuing the relationship, inform your boss before they hear the whispered rumours in the break room.

2. Be open and honest about your intentions: Workplace relationships only have a chance at success if they’re for the “right reasons” (just ask the Bachelor franchise). Share your viewpoints on relationship expectations, how you will interact in the workplace, avoiding workplace biases and how the relationship could potentially impact your careers. Communication is key when it comes to making your intentions known.

3. Keep your relationship private: Privacy doesn’t mean other coworkers aren’t allowed to know about your relationship, however, interactions should be professional while at work. Keeping the details of your relationship private will ensure that you keep the focus on your professional abilities and performance. Avoid intimate contact and make sure guidelines are clear from the beginning in order to avoid drama that could affect your job.
4. Give it a real shot: You’ve made your intentions known, established your boundaries when at your workplace… now what? It’s time to nurture the relationship. Make a point of spending quality time together outside of your work day that DOES NOT include discussing work. Put real effort into getting to know your partner and his/her interests beyond the professional mask.  
5. Don’t communicate via work email: There are many ways to communicate with your new love interest – your company email isn’t one of them. Maintain professionalism by using your work email strictly for work. (Plus, your organization may or may not be monitoring email communication.)

6. “Breaking up is hard to do”: Dating a co-worker or supervisor might seem like a great idea at first, however, consider the consequences if the relationship ends. The last thing you want is tension in the workplace or fellow colleagues taking sides. That’s why maintaining separation between your professional and personal life from the get-go is essential (see tip #3). Should the relationship end on a sour note, options might include moving to another department or location if your company allows.

7. Keep Social Media in mind: In today’s society, information travels fast. Ensure that your professional and personal profiles are kept separately on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking platforms (at least in the early stages of the relationship). You never know who might be connected to you that could break the silence of your new and developing relationship.
The bottom line: Workplace relationships are risky – but can be wonderfully rewarding, too! Maintain boundaries, be respectable and don’t forget about professionality.
Happy Valentine’s Day from the team!

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