Glamour sought out expert advice (and stories from real women) on what makes an office romance successful and what makes it a dating disaster.
DO know the specifics of your company’s interoffice dating policy.
Make a point to familiarize yourself with any written policies your company’s human resources department might have on file. “Be very clear about what you’re putting at risk,” advises Kimberly Yorio, coauthor of The Girl’s Guide to Kicking Your Career Into Gear. “Many organizations have no-fraternization policies. You could be fired on the spot if found out, and in this job market, that guy may not be worth the risk. Also, be leery of dating a superior. “If you are really in love with your boss, start looking for another job. If you are going to make a go of a relationship, one of you will have to go eventually.”
DON’T get caught getting it on in the office supply closet.
“Just because it’s called an office romance doesn’t mean you can conduct it in the office,” says says Helaine Olen, coauthor of Office Mate: The Employee Handbook for Finding—and Managing—Romance on the Job. Although finding hidden make-out spots might sound exciting, the truth is, it can be dangerous. “Don’t have any on-desk make-out or sex sessions. I personally know of three separate occasions where couples were outed by the cleaning staff who walked in on their ‘meeting,’” says Yorio. Chances are good that you’ll get caught and your job (and reputation) could be on the line.
DO tell your boss first.
Before you tell your coworkers about your office affair, tell your boss. The last thing you want is a rumor passed along at the staff holiday party. Once you are in a serious and committed relationship and ready to let people know, schedule face time with your boss to discuss what’s going on. “DO go into your boss’s office with a simple acknowledgment that you and your coworker are dating, but DON’T ramble on about the details of your love life for five minutes,” says Olen. Keep it short and sweet, and demonstrate your professionalism regarding the topic.
DON’T flirt during corporate functions.
Although it might seem like everyone is a little more relaxed during corporate retreats or on business trips, remember that “whatever you do offsite will always be remembered onsite,” says Friedman, “and any inappropriate behavior could impact future promotions, raises and even recommendations.”