Dating A Coworker

Top 5 Reasons to Avoid Dating a Coworker

It has been said that we spend more time at work with our coworkers than we do in our own homes with our families; likely one of the reasons that many people find themselves contemplating dating a coworker.   Working daily with other individuals puts us in the perfect position for developing working relationships, friendship and even love.

While participating in the dating scene can be a frustrating experience with people we don’t know, it can be easy to fall for a coworker whom we have come to know well through daily interactions.  Before entering into such a temptation, however, there are some very important reasons to avoid considering an office relationship.

  1.  It may be against company policy.  Many companies and organizations today have written policies prohibiting any interoffice relationships, and have every right to do so.  The penalty for ignoring the policy and getting caught in such a relationship could very well end in the loss of both of your jobs.   Even if the company does not have policy against office romances, the majority of organizations strongly discourage dating between coworkers.  

  2. It will lead to office place gossip.  Even if the relationship is kept discreet, too many times news leaks out into the social flow of workplace gossip about the dating couple.  Snickers, whispers, catty remarks and such will likely be the atmosphere once word gets out about the relationship.  A tiny thread of truth can be stitched into a full suit of rumors that can not only get ugly but also embarrassing for both individuals over time when dating a coworker.

  3. You could lose credibility in the office.  The early throes of relationships are wonderfully heady and dreamy experiences; full of flirty glances, suggestive talk and the distraction of being in love.  It is difficult enough to focus on your responsibilities at work when the one you are dating is only on your mind.  When the object of your desire is within your view during the work day, often work and responsibility begins to suffer with this type of behavior.  Job performance can easily be affected, especially if sending instant messages over the computer or texting one another is a possibility.  Soon, others in the workplace could lose confidence in your abilities and lose faith in your dependability. 

  4. It could lead to a sexual harassment suit.  Most office romances begin in the hopes of making it to the more serious step of marriage over time; however, the “happily ever after” ending rarely occurs.  When subordinates date and then break up, the possibility of a sexual harassment suit is a real concern.  Often, the person who resisted the breakup wants to hurt the other and, in an office situation, sexual harassment is the tool used.  Any emails or text messages that were thought to be fun and flirty during the relationship could become flying daggers of damning evidence against the other individual in the right situation. 

  5. It could make for an uncomfortable workplace.  Breakups are never the goal of couples, but inevitably do occur.  When relationships outside of the workplace fail, you are able to immerse yourself into your job in an effort to deal with the let down feeling.  In office relationships, however, there is no escape.  The other half of the failed relationship may be in constant company, making the environment uncomfortable and strained especially if they were the instigator of the breakup. 

Our work environment is generally where we spend the majority of our time.  Dating a coworker can disrupt the structured and organized atmosphere that employers strive to attain, making for a difficult situation for everyone involved.