Cuddling up to your coworkers

For some, nothing beats the buzz of an office romance. The thrill of flirting with a certain someone at the water cooler, innocent e-mails, that first lunch date and then, hopefully, a great, fun romance and possibly even the finding of a soulmate.

It’s not as simple as it sounds, however, (nothing ever is!) because workplace romances can be fraught with difficulties, and maintaining corporate wellness whilst indulging in a fling with a coworker can be a tricky business.

Dating at work sometimes hits the news, as the repercussions of workplace romances gone wrong can often be extremely ugly indeed, and lead to fears over legal liability and sexual discrimination or harassment cases coming to the fore.

In fact, there is no law against dating your coworker. Some organisations may advise strongly against it for your own wellbeing, but they are not at liberty to dictate to you whom you socialise with outside of normal working hours. As long as both colleagues are consenting adults there is really nothing to fear, from a legal point of view.

If indulging in a workplace romance, be sure that both participants are making sound choices, and are entering into the relationship rationally. Making decisions based on an alcohol-fuelled Christmas party encounter is not a good idea, for example! Whilst it is legal to have an office romance, it is not legal to harass someone into having any type of romantic contact with you. It is also wise to take extra care if there is an imbalance of power; whilst it is perfectly legal for an executive to date an assistant, the perception of this type of relationship may be quite negative.

Employers, in particular, must be cautious about their reputation with their staff, and consider how a workplace romance would look in the eyes of their other employees.

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