With today’s emphasis on being a team player, long hours spent at the office, the frantic pace we work at and the limited time we have for social lives, it is only natural that finding a mate in the workplace might look like a viable proposition.
“The reality is that office romances are as common as laptops”
The most acceptable office romances, are between singles and only if handled discreetly. An office affair when either party is married will always raise strong feelings in others. Our culture respects loyalty and devotion.
Once public, the fallout will always be damaging to all parties, with reputations and professional stature tarnished forever.
The office romance is fraught with dangers. Try and seek elsewhere for the love of your life. If you want to pursue romance at the office, follow these tips (only if you're single):
•Don't get involved with someone with similar work responsibilities
•Don't get involved with someone you share the same work space with
•Don’t be naïve, thinking you can keep it secret for long.
•Be discreet, no goo–goo eyes over the board room table, no soppy e–mails, no long, lingering lunches at the cafeteria.
• If working in an open plan office be more aware of your actions, conversations.
• The relationship may cause strong feelings with co– workers. Be prepared to deal with jealousy, gossip and backstabbing.
• If it ends avoid scenes and don't indulge in ex –bashing.
“I was horrified when one of my co–workers told me I was a flirt. What is acceptable in an office situation?” Thuli
• Sexy glances, ear whispering conversations have no place at work.
• Watch your body language – gazing dreamily into your co–workers eyes, seductively playing with your hair, even smiling for too long may send out the wrong messages.
• Be careful (women) of casually tossing your hair, dangling a crossed leg, or touching a man’s elbow–these are flirting signs.
• Men be aware of standing like John Wayne (thumbs hooked onto belt, fingers pointing towards your zipper) legs spread apart.
• Flirting men also use the peacock stance to make them appear bigger–hands on hips or hand on the wall–angled toward you.
“Is it acceptable to socialise with my boss?”
• The time, venue, other guests are critical in your decision to accept–is it only you and him, Saturday dinner at a romantic private venue? Or is it a lunch with other colleagues during the week at the usual company chosen restaurant. Use your intuition.
• If you feel uncomfortable–ask if you may bring a partner or decline graciously.
• Should you feel all is above board, accept – keep things on professional business level don’t feel you have to reveal too many personal details.
• Friendships between people of different ranks can lead to nasty gossip and talk of favouritism so endeavour to limit your socializing with your superiors.
We discuss these and other thorny issues in our Power Etiquette programme. This workshop will also equip you to become a 'mover and shaker' in a way that is dynamic and relevant to today's working world. For more information regarding our Power Etiquette presentation, contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org