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OFFICE ROMANCE: Tips on how to make it work

With the average Nairobian spending eight plus hours at work, it is near natural to fall for a colleague.

If you are not careful, giving in to an office romance might however leave you both jobless and dateless.

Here are tips to help you navigate romance with a workmate.

1. Romance away from the office – It is called an office romance because a couple meets at the office, not because they conduct their affair in the office. Exhibiting affection at the office comes off as unprofessional and might cost you your job. Date your colleague if you must, but socialize away from the office.

2. Don’t cross the command chain – If you are going to date a colleague, it is wiser to date someone on your own level. Do not date up or downwards as this puts so much more than your heart at stake. This could bring the issue of intimidation and sexual harassment into play.

3. Be realistic – The office romance isn’t one of those love affairs where you are told to just follow your heart. It demands a bit of thought first.

Before dipping your hand in the cookie jar, ask yourself, how will a break up affect the two of you? Are you one of those people who get shattered when a relationship ends? Yes. Then an office romance is not a good idea because you will continue seeing him or her every day after it ends.

4. Personal jokes – Refrain from making jokes at work that only your significant other understands. While at the office strive to make everyone feel included. If they feel as if the two of you are shutting everyone out, this may breed resentment which is toxic in a work environment.

5. Are you on the same page? – Before giving in to a colleague, find out if you have anything else in common other than the fact that the two of you work together. If you do not, this is a relationship doomed to fail.

While at it, make sure that you are the only one that your love interest is dating. Relationship drama at the office will chip away at your achievements at work.

6. The office party – Most organizations have these to celebrate different things. If you are dating a colleague, make sure that you do not over indulge in alcohol at the office party. Doing so might lead up to you doing or saying things that you shouldn’t.

7. Be careful with e-mails – Flirting is an integral part of a relationship. If you opt for emails, be careful about doing this through the office mail. Most companies monitor this and you could end up losing your job as a result.

8. Leave work at the office – Just as it is easy to bring your romance into your office space, it is easy to take work with you on dates with your love interest from the office. If an office romance is going to work, you need to reduce the amount of work talk you do when you are together outside the office.