It’s not uncommon for people to spend a majority of their day at their place of work. As a result, it can be easy to enter into workplace romances, which can have a detrimental effect on a person’s career or even lead to sexual harassment claims. While it’s not legally forbidden to date a co-worker, Forbes recommends keeping the following points in mind before moving forward.
Some companies actually require their employees disclose romantic relationships. This information can usually be found within your employee handbook, which offers information on conduct and what’s expected of workers. In the event that one person holds authority over another, workplace reporting becomes a more serious issue since it could be claimed that the supervisor is playing favorites.
In this respect, seniority often complicates office relationships. For instance, a manager may be less likely to criticize a worker he or she is romantically involved with. Even co-workers could find themselves at odds, especially when working on the same projects with other team members. In this case, consider what would happen if the relationship were to break up. Are you sure that you’ll be able to conduct yourself with decorum? And if so, are you sure your former partner will be able to do the same?
On a personal level, consider how likely it is for the relationship to develop into something serious. You can determine this by looking at your own dating history as well as that of your co-worker. For many people, it’s not worth risking a career over what is likely to be a brief romance. Along with complicating your working relationship if things sour, you could be faced with legal ramifications that may follow you for many years.