In the corporate setting, being in a relationship with a co-worker, especially if the relationship started in the workplace is still a taboo in many offices. While some companies might be supportive of such an affair, there are also those that frown upon and even forbid office relationships.
Keeping and maintaining an office affair when it is not sanctioned by your company is not easy. It’s when people start talking about a potential office love affair that things can get especially sticky, and could even cause irreparable damage to your career prospects at your company. Here are a few tips to help you tone down telltale signs of your budding office affair and keep the blossoming relationship under the radar.
1. First things first: become an expert in your company policy
Before you get deeper into a potential office affair, keep your wits together enough for you to find out about your company’s policy on employee romance. While some companies are more open to the possibility of office affairs, others do not share the same understanding. Know the details of what is allowed and what is not. You may after all find that it is only an issue if you have a romance with someone you manage and that other types of relationships are still OK.
2. Don’t act too formal around each other
Let’s face it, work can be boring at times and gossip is a popular hobby in the office. If your co-workers are used to seeing you joke around each other and suddenly you’re both too formal, chances are they’ll start formulating weird romantic theories in their head and the gossip will begin. So play it cool and act like nothing’s changed and your colleagues are unlikely to notice your brewing office love life.
3. Don’t spend so much time together
Nothing fuels office gossips more than spending so much time together especially if people aren’t used to seeing you with other before. If you truly want to keep the relationship a secret, it’s best to shy away from the watchful eye of your co-workers. Agree to meet up somewhere else after work to keep tongues from wagging and from people turning your blossoming relationship into a lunchtime staple. Make sure you leave at different times and not together.
4. Don’t stay up late in the office – together
Everyone’s bound to gossip when they start noticing that you’re both spending longer hours in the office but not getting much work done. Instead of staying late, resolve to get both of your work done early so you can go somewhere else after office hours. However, leaving the office so soon after each other would also rouse suspicion. If you are good at acting and want to take it to a new level of deception, make sure people feel that you are doing so a bit unwillingly and that you don’t particularly like hanging out with your other half.
5. Never talk about it with people from work
Telling a co-worker is never a good idea no matter how close or chummy you are with them. You’ll never know when they’ll let slip of your secret and make it fair game. Keep the big announcement to the wedding day or when one of you has left the company.
6. Use office resources with caution
Exchanging sweet nothings via office email, instant messenger, or over the phone can get you into a lot of trouble especially if you have a vigilant IT department, who can easily intercept and read your messages. Send your love through text but make sure you don’t do so doing office hours.
7. Social networks are a no-no
Be very careful when posting using your social network accounts. Every single Instagram image, Facebook status posts, and tweets can be viewed by people from your office, or worse, your boss. If you don’t want people to be aware and want to keep your relationship truly under the radar, then just be very cautious when posting.
Finally, remember that you are at work to work, but not to talk, daydream, or fantasize about your office crush or think about your potential office affair. When you think about it, there is but one question you should answer: which one is more important to you, your work or your love life your guess is as good as ours.