The Help Files: Office Romance Special

Love is in the air. Or rather, in the office’s stale, recirculated air. If you work a standard 8-hour day, you spend more time with your colleagues than you do with your own family.

Many people have platonic “work husbands” or “work wives.” These relationships usually exist only inside the office. Sometimes, however, things take a more romantic turn and it happens more often than you might think.

Sometimes people are thrown together due to the pressures of work. When there is a deadline, the stakes are high (such as pleasing a finicky and valuable client), and people must work together for hours to get the job done, things can happen. Traveling for business can also sow the seeds for a romantic entanglement. Bottom line? Familiarity doesn’t always breed contempt.

In the “Mad Men” era, office romance was almost expected and everyone pretended not to notice but always did. Nowadays, however, the rules have changed. Office romances are frowned upon for a variety of reasons (such as our ever-litigious society). Social media presents a veritable minefield for the romantically inclined. And by the way–you’d best forget about people pretending not to notice. This is 2015, not 1965.

So, just what are you supposed to do if you think you’ve met Mr. or Ms. Right at your place of business? For those who are undecided, the easiest and safest answer is, “Just don’t.” For anyone else willing sail through the treacherous waters of office romance, the June edition of The Help Files stands ready to help avoid running aground on a desert island of problems.

Mixing Business with Pleasure

Love (lust?) occurs every day, all over the world. Jamaica is no exception. Jody-Anne Lawrence lays out the not-so-straightforward pros and cons of mixing business and pleasure.

Workplace Romance: Proceed with caution

Romance that blossoms in the office can produce a beautiful relationship, as Kayla J. Collins explains in her article. We can’t help who we fall in love with, but complications can arise when one is a supervisor and the other is ordinary staff. If one is interested but the other isn’t, things can turn legal very quickly. If the relationship cools, the lower-ranking person can say they were coerced into things to keep their job.

Weddings, Jersey-style: Romance on a Post-it note

Post-it notes seem to be more of a “remember to pick up milk” thing than an “I love you” thing, but hey, whatever works, right? Janelle Griffith describes a relationship that seems straight out of a fairy tale. This romance began with a love note, made a stop at the altar, and continues today.

Rules of Office Sex

If you’re enjoying the scenery in the office, and the time has come to do more than just look, A. Drucker has some practical tips for you. For example, when planning to do it, find a door with a lock. Read on for the other four tips.

Firms fret as technology makes office romance easier

Social media makes it easier to stay in touch with office colleagues. Facebook also makes it easier to become friends, and for friendship to grow into something more. Fearing lawsuits, companies often forbid dating between different levels in the office hierarchy, but they can be more accommodating when two managers start seeing each other outside the office, or when two staff members start dating. As Jena McGregor’s article says, it might be worth your while to check your company’s HR policies on that. Want to risk being fired over a date?

BuzzFeed’s “Stages Of An Office Romance” Video Shows The Ups And Downs Of Dating Your Co-workers

Office hookups happen. That’s a fact. But make sure you know ALL the facts about what can happen during an office fling. Mehak Anwar discusses the great–and not-so-great–parts of dating someone you work with.

Have some tips or tools to share with your fellow technical communicators, information developers, and content creators? Let’s network! Drop me a note: HelpFiles@TechWhirl.com. Follow me on Twitter: @craigcardimon. Connect with me on LinkedIn here. Put me in your Google+ circles. I enjoy connecting with others in the industry.

Craig Cardimon

Craig Cardimon wears many hats and loves all of them -- technical communicator, content curator, and freelance copywriter. In his not-so-copious spare time, he reads, writes, runs on the local trail, and watches way too much "retro" TV.

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