Your eyes linger across the watercooler. You exchange flirty glances in Zoom meetings. You long to spend every lunchbreak moment with them.
While having a crush at work may zap your attention and quicken your heartbeat, it’s a very common occurrence. A third of relationships begin at work and 50% of workers have had a crush on a colleague.
The secret lies in how you handle your crush. Are the feelings reciprocated? Will your company frown upon it? Is it distracting you from performing at your best?
Here we explore the best ways to professionally navigate those pangs of yearning and steer you towards the happiest outcomes for all when it comes to your workplace crush.
1 How deep is your love…and theirs?
Before you even consider pursuing the object of your affections, think about just how serious your feelings are. Is it just a fleeting physical attraction you can shake off? Or do you genuinely see the person as a potential partner? Furthermore, are you picking up any cues that the feelings are reciprocated?
If not, you may find yourself on risky ground in terms of harassment so stick on the side of caution. If so, think about how serious the feelings are at this stage as the implications of a relationship at work can be significant both in the case that it lasts or if it doesn’t.
2 Know the risks…
If pursuing your workplace romance backfires for whatever reason, there’s a fallout to always consider.
It could be that you experience workplace humiliation amongst your colleagues who have something to say about your new romance. They may question your integrity and commitment to the job.
If not pursued sensitively, or you become too persistent, you may face claims of harassment which is a very serious issue if your affections are unwanted.
In the event the relationship ends badly, it may create awkward, uncomfortable situations that impact on your work performance. It may be painful to continue seeing them at work following a break-up.
3 What does your place of work have to say about it?
Some companies have policies that strictly deter workplace relationships. Even if not, it could be that pursuing a relationship in the office is frowned upon, especially if one of you occupies a more senior position in the business.
A disgruntled boss and co-workers could lead to unfavourable outcomes at work. In fact, 37% of those who embarked on a workplace romance said they had to keep it under wraps.
Note – Be aware that unwelcome attention can be considered harassment so when it comes to workplace relationships you need to be extremely mindful and aware of your company’s policies.
4 Always keep your cool
So, you’ve considered the risks, your workplace is ok, and you know they’re interested - amazing! This doesn’t mean you go in all guns blazing. Dial the flirtation down at work and stay professional.
Being outwardly flirty at work is likely to make others uncomfortable, have you viewed as unprofessional and create cause to question whether you are more serious about your personal life than your work life.
If you are thinking about starting a relationship, create clear boundaries and keep your romantic social interactions for your personal time.
5 …But be optimistic
Not all workplace romances are doomed to failure making work life a nightmare. Many professionals balance happy relationships while working alongside their partner. Indeed, when love is in the air, positive feelings can permeate across the overall working environment, contributing to a happier culture.
What’s more, 31% said their office romance ended in marriage, so it could just be that your workplace may just outshine those dating apps when it comes to finding your true lasting love.
If you are open to new opportunities, contact a recruitment agency like Trojan Recruitment Group and receive advice from the experts in labour-hire, permanent and contract staff.