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Office romance can be messy. Here is how to avoid it without risking your job

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A s an individual, you do not have to stand being hit on. You don’t have to endure any sort of harassment in hopes of getting that next raise or keeping your job. Most companies have strict policies to keep relationships completely out of the workplace. Familiarise yourself, first and foremost, with how your office handles romance.

Any sign of harassment is considered against company policy. Therefore, do not be afraid to put a stop to it! If you actually like the attention, be warned that getting involved in an office romance could get messy. Yet on the other hand, many people meet their sweethearts in the office. After all, what better way to find something in common than at work? It’s such a slippery thing, though, and so here are some considerations.

Understand the risks: If you are considering dating someone in the office, there are a few things you should know. Before you start a relationship, look at the potential hazards. Are they your superior or your inferior? Will other people find out? Will the relationship stir hostility or jealousy among your co-workers? For example, if you or your partner is in a position of authority, will your co-workers start accusing one of you of giving the other ‘special treatment’? An office romance may be more trouble than it’s worth.

Avoid unwanted attention: If you don’t want to attract special attention at work, dress modestly. Showing too much skin may cause your co-workers to think you are ‘in the market’ for a new date and act accordingly.

Be subtle: When someone actually starts hitting on you, the situation becomes very tricky. Start by playing it off like you would do any situation when someone hits on you and you just aren’t interested – completely ignore it and shoot down any romantic advances they make. Avoid interacting with that co-worker if necessary. Most people will get the message and let it be. For those who don’t, you may need a more direct approach.

Be upfront: Explain to the person that you are not interested and that it makes you uncomfortable when they hit on you. It may be easier to just tell them you don’t believe in office romance. Be kind at first, but if they keep insisting, be forceful. You do not have to deal with how they treat you no matter how much of an influence they have over your job. If they still do not listen to you after all of this, seek additional help. 

Report them: Tell your superiors of the problem. Be mature and calm about it and the situation will be appropriately handled. Causing a scene is not the way to go. Even though it is unfair for you to be treated this way, maintaining your composure will ensure that your boss takes you seriously when you tell them of the problem.

But what if it is your boss? Find an equal or higher superior to talk to. If your manager is the one hitting on you, talk to a different manager, or find a regional manager to deal withit instead.

[crp]

 

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BT Reporter
BT Reporterhttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
editor [at] businesstoday.co.ke
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