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Six tips for having an office romance

Fancy getting together with a colleague? Is it a good idea or always a no-no in the office? We discuss some ways of managing an office romance and keeping it professional.

The office can be a hotbed for romance – after all you spend most of your daytime hours in the office. But what happens if you fall for a colleague?

80% of people say they would consider dating a co-worker, according to a survey from Flirt.com. 56% of business professionals say they’ve already had an office romance, according to Vault.com. And three in 10 people who date a colleague end up marrying them, according to another survey from CareerBuilder.com. But are office romances always a good idea? We look at six top tips for dating colleagues.

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1. Know your company policy
It might not be the first thing on your mind when all you can think about is your hot colleague, but you need to consider your career as well as your love life. Make sure that you’re not violating any company policies. If you’re planning on flouting any dating rules, you need to consider if it’s worth it. Are you both in it for the long-haul? Is he or she worth losing your job over?

2. Don’t date your supervisor
If one of you manages the other, don’t get into a relationship – end of. It puts both of you in an awkward position, and can cause resentment among co-workers. If you’re dating your boss, colleagues could assume you’re getting special treatment. And if it goes wrong, the subordinate could accuse the manager of sexual harassment. If you’re in a management relationship and you really think this person is “the one” – consider leaving your job before starting anything romantic. If you’re just after a fling because you fancy them – don’t do it.

3. Be discreet
Although you may feel like announcing your new romance to the world, not everyone in your office may be as happy about it as you. Co-workers may frown on your relationship – or may think that you’ve got an unfair advantage. So keep your relationship discreet and don’t make it obvious to everyone in the office. Above all – avoid public displays of affection (PDAs). There’s nothing worse than seeing two colleagues canoodling by the photocopier…

4. Prepare for the worst
Even if you start out your office romance thinking that you’ll get married and live happily ever after, you need to plan for what would happen if you split up. If you work in the same department could you cope seeing each other every day? It may be unromantic, but it’s a good idea to sit down together to discuss how you’d cope with a potential break up. You don’t want things to get messy in the office.

5. Avoid serial dating
If the person you’re dating turns out not to be your one and only, don’t immediately get together with someone else in the office. If you get a reputation as a serial office dater it can make you look cheap and unprofessional. There are plenty of places to hook up with single people these days – the office isn’t one of them. It’s also advisable to keep any relationship under wraps until you’ve both decided it’s serious and long-term, otherwise you’ll end up being the subject of all the office gossip.

6. Don’t fight in the office
Even if you’re not speaking to each other at home, don’t let any arguments boil over into the office. Leave any personal problems at home, and make sure they don’t affect your working relationship. If you can’t manage to act professionally with your partner, it may be time to consider whether one of you should find a different job.