We spend approximately 40 hours a week at work and sometimes that causes one to have attachments. And while many people have not acted on the impulse to take things further with the colleague, there are still plenty of those who have thought about it.
And even though, you might have a ‘work husband/wife’ choosing to act on your feelings might turn out problematic – personally and professionally – so you need to make sure that you are certain before doing so.
Michele Kerulis, a clinical psychologist and dating expert from Northwestern University, spoke to Men’s Health and gave these five questions to ask yourself before deciding to make a move:
1. Are you just attracted to them or is it truly an emotional connection?
It’s easy to become attracted to someone – especially if you are working on a shared project and commiserating about the same situations. It’s usually shared situations that attract people to each other, especially if they look like the type of person that you are usually attracted to.
Kerulis says that an easy way to tell if your feelings for the other person goes beyond a physical attraction is if you don’t only think about them when you are with them, then it is possible that you have developed an emotional connection.
2. Do I know what he or she is truly like?
There is difference between the persona someone gives off at work and how they truly are – it’s a good idea to take a step back and see them for they are outside of the work building and their excellent sales record.
However, how they react to pressure or deadlines is a good way to notice how they are in a personal setting – it shows you their natural state – and there are plenty of ways to see that in the office environment.
3. What does your HR policy say about office romances?
You should always be aware of your company’s HR policy with regards to workplace relationships. Most companies advise against romantic relationships between supervisors and those that they supervise. If you are not sure what your company’s policies are, consult your handbook or speak to an HR representative before things become out of hand.
4. Will the relationship impact your or the other person’s ability to do their job or move ahead at work?
It’s worth rethinking the relationship if it would make it difficult for your or your partner to be taken seriously at work or hinder your progress.
5. Will you be able to set boundaries?
Once you have decided to go ahead with the relationship, make sure to set boundaries. Your personal relationship should never affect your professional relationship. This will help you to have a good work/life balance.