By ROZIE JUMA
Pursuing your interest may jeopardise your love life and career. However, if everything goes as planned, your job performance could improve and your personal life may take a better turn.
A research done by an American firm indicates that almost half of office romances end in marriage or a significant long-term relationship. In any case, we spend more of our time in the work place than anywhere else. If you decide to make the romantic move in the office, you should know the rules.
Company policy: There are companies that have policies against dating among coworkers; while others just ignore it. Inasmuch as most organisations prefer not to intrude on their employee’s private lives, the shadow of sexual harassment looms large. Dare not date someone who is your supervisor or who reports to you.
Ground rules: Set the rules from the word go. Discuss and agree early enough on how you will handle the relationship around the office, and what to do if the relationship does not work out. This requires a level of maturity and discipline often hard to come by; you, however, must do it if the two of you want to keep your job.
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Performance: What effect will the relationship have on your job performance? When one is in love, they easily get distracted; they tend to focus on the object of their affection at the expense of anything else, including their job — you are risking your career. The positive side, however, could be that your performance in the office could improve if you are trying to impress your office partner.
Discretion: It is important to be discreet and professional. Never discuss your romantic relationships with other colleagues; keep details of your dating to yourself. Professionalism dictates that the couple should be careful that any interaction in the office is purely job-related. It’s a matter of having your career and dating it, too.