If the plots of much-loved hit movies (such as The Proposal, Jerry Maguire) and many TV favorites (Bones, Grey’s Anatomy, The Office) are to be believed, an office romance may seem like a grand idea. However, all these stories fail to show the downside of getting involved at their workplace.
“Most often it causes a lot of trouble in the workplace and affects one’s work output,” says Venus de Leon, Human Resources Manager of The Ramp Crossings.
Jommel Panganiban, another HR Manager and trained life coach agrees with this, saying, “From a business perspective, (and this is not supported by any undisputable survey) it is counter-productive.” Panganiban, who once was tempted with the idea of an office romance himself, shares, “A former fling of mine was hired as my colleague, and the person tried to court me again. I put my foot down and said ‘No. Sorry. I don’t sh*t in my backyard.’”
So, why should you stay away from that hot and flirty colleague? Keep reading for a few good reasons.
1. Jealousy on the job can lead to broken hearts and teams.
Some office romances start as secret relationships; and because of this, you might catch some of your co-workers flirting with your new boyfriend, which could make you want to claw their eyes out, or they could be flirting with you, which may wake the green-eyed monster in him. Of course you’re no clingy cat, but how can you get past this negative issue?
2. You’ll be less productive.
The moment you start on that romance, you’ll yearn for longer lunch hours with your guy and find yourself sneaking a few minutes here and there just so to see him and chat about random things, even though you’re supposed to be working. This leads to a big dip in your office productivity. To which de Leon adds that it might also “affect coworkers and hamper their productivity.”
3. Your accomplishments will always be called into question.
You might be setting yourself up for some trouble should you start dating your boss or anyone you and other people depend on, as it could mean you get preferential treatment from the guy you’re seeing. Would you like your work habits criticized by your partner? What’s more, achievements may become tarnished because people can never be sure if you got better opportunities or guidance because of that close, personal relationship you share.
Panganiban suggests you should “avoid dating a superior, particularly when that person belongs to the same team, section, or department. The principle is to not give either of the party undue management power over another. This might jeopardize fairness and equality in their work treatment or create a perception of the lack of it.”[crp]
4. Your relationship will become fodder for office gossip.
When you and your guy work together, issues should be kept between the two of you often become public knowledge. Your love life will often be discussed by others, and every little thing you two do—whether good or bad—will open be for everyone’s entertainment and interpretation. Worse, aside from gossips, you may attract nosy busybodies.
Think about how hard it might be to concentrate on the job if the whole office knows in full detail what happened on your last date or, worse, they all know you had a little spat. You have your own set of friends at work, and he has them too, and before you know it, a little squabble suddenly is blown out off proportion, making it everybody’s business. “This is unwanted drama,” Panganiban states. “Relationships will have its cycle and when you hit bottom, it will put a strain, no matter how little, even in the working relationship.”
5. You may get bored with each other.
A little distance helps the heart grow fonder. But if you’re together night and day, at the office and at home, after office hours, and on weekends, this may lead to a friction in your relationship. You run out of that much-needed alone time, and because you both know exactly what happens in each other’s lives the moment these thing happen, you might run out of things to talk about and become bored with each other.
6. If you break up, it’ll mean seeing your ex every day.
Consider the worst case scenario for your office romance: it doesn’t work out, and you’re forced to see your ex every single day, perhaps even with the new girl he’s seeing who sits just a few desks away from you. It’ll be hard for you to move on, and it will also add a lot of strain and awkwardness to your officemates’ work life as well as any social gatherings. Think about this: you’re trying your best to move on, but can’t because he’s just a couple of desks away. If you get a new haircut, he’ll see it. If you have a new match in Tinder, he’ll hear about it. If you go on a date, he’ll know about it.
All that being said, we’re not saying that you should deny yourself a chance at love and a happy, healthy, committed relationship just because you and the person you are interested in happen to work in the same office. If you have a chance at a lifelong love, grasp it with both hands. All we’re saying is that you should think twice and prepare yourself should you decide to engage in a little in-office liaising.
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Ana Valenzuela graduated with a degree in AB Literature from UST. She has written for several media outlets. She is currently taking her Master's from UP.