Dating your coworker

“Co-workers and bosses do not react favorably to relationships between married people,” Heathfield says.

You should also think twice about pursuing a relationship with someone in the same department.

Dig out your employee handbook and check your company’s specific policy.

Some may prohibit intra-office dating entirely, while others only forbid relationships between managers and direct reports.

She recommends breaking the news with an announcement that’s brief and to the point by saying something like, “Yes, we had a date, but I’d like to keep that between us, if you don’t mind.” You can even do the same with your manager if you have a friendly rapport.

Otherwise, when the truth comes out about a secret relationship, colleagues might feel betrayed.

“Colleagues start with something huge in common, which is the work,” says Susan Heathfield, a management and organization development consultant.

“They tend to be educated about the same, and they tend to be within driving distance.” Those logistics can make or break a budding couple, as anyone who’s ever been in a long-distance relationship can attest.And the benefits continue once an office romance is in full swing.“If they share a professional background, they may also share an understanding of the work demands and the organizational culture,” says Amy Nicole Baker, an associate professor of psychology at the University of New Haven.“Over the next years, you’re going to see workplace romances increasing,” Heathfield says.“I think it’s because in this particular era, people don’t do the centralized socializing outside of work that they might have done in past years.”If you’ve struck up a romance with the new hire down the hall, here’s what to know to keep your career intact.And yes, they really are that common: According to a 2018 Career Builder survey, 36 percent of people have dated a co-worker, 30 percent have dated a superior, and 22 percent have had an office romance with their manager or direct boss.

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