The Blog

Love at Work Is a Lot of Work!

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

With the holidays ending, I would first like to wish you all a fantastic new year filled with love, health and fun. January is typically a time for catching-up over drinks with friends and colleagues. Recently I met with my good friend Thomas, who is a good-looking successful manager at a large corporation. He is usually far too focused on work to have a fulfilling private life.

Mixing business and pleasure
I hadn't seen Thomas in a long time and after talking about his job over a few drinks, the conversation surprisingly shifted to another topic. Thomas had recently hired a new personal assistant and could not stop talking about her. "Seriously the moment I hired Karen I didn't see this coming. It all started slow and innocent but it all changed that night when we needed to work until late." Currently, most of their workdays end with hot, steam sex sessions all over his office. Thomas, a smart guy, realized this situation could impact his career, but little did he know that the work place is one of the top ten places to meet a spouse. That evening I decided that love and the workplace would be the subject for my first article of 2016.

Facts and Figures
In my research I came across a highly interesting survey on the subject. Apparently love at work is more acceptable than ever! findings indicate that 1 out of 10 of their respondents met their spouse or partner at work and almost 50 percent participated in an affair at some point in their career. This could be excellent news for my friend, Thomas!

Take it easy
As someone who is part of the 50 percent of the professionals who been involved with a colleague in the past, I came up with a few helpful tips to help you better determine your situation:

  • Just excitement -- It's good advice to avoid dipping your pen in company ink, especially if you know that the affair is just a temporary exciting experience. If you are just in it for the thrills, be smart and stop it as fast as you can because this type of situation has the potential to harm your career.

  • Getting Serious -- If it's more than just sizzling physical attraction, you may want to inform your supervisor about the relationship. This will help you to build trust and avoid sneaky situations that could be misconstrued.
  • Here to stay -- If things are going well, you may want to come out and let your colleagues know. Finding your partner at work can present complications, least of which is gossip. To avoid rumors and possible damage to you career, it's best to set the record straight yourself. A relationship at work will be more successful if your colleagues have the correct information.
  • In the spotlight -- It is important to realize that you will professionally be more vulnerable than in the past. Everything you and your new partner do will be noticed, and even simple things like promotions may be questioned. Keep your behavior as professional as possible, which means no public displays of affection at work.
  • Less excitement -- Please be realistic and understand that the thrill of having a secret office affair will fade. Things will go back to day-to-day life and it's exactly at this stage where you will find out if you and your partner are in it for the long haul.
  • Two worlds
    Beginning a relationship at work makes things complicated, but it's not impossible. If you can keep your relationship and work separate and take care not to mix these two worlds, you will greatly simplify things. Here are examples of what to separate:

    1. The professional world where Thomas must be critical about Karen's performance, without Karen taking his comments and evaluation personally.
  • The private world where both of them are passionate lovers in normal relationship.
  • If you can glide between the two worlds without too much drama, there is a fair chance your relationship will be successful. Finally, I advise that you take it step by step, first informing your supervisor, then your colleagues. Ideally, you and your partner would not work in the same office or company, but since these are key meeting places, it's important to be smart and to handle the situation carefully to avoid harming your career. Yes love at work, it is a lot of work but it can pay off and makes a great story!