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“Pay attention to how others react to your personal banter so that you can make adjustments as needed,” she advises.If you’re toying with the idea of an office romance, Dr.
“For example, you might make inside jokes or refer to your personal lives in a playful way that makes others feel uncomfortable or excluded.” The solution, she says, is to be mindful of how you might feel if the roles were reversed.
“If you’re head over heels about your superior or your junior and the feeling is mutual, you might want to talk to HR about potentially reassigning one of you to a different manager if you really wanted to pursue the relationship.” But Krow’s stance is that it’s “never okay” to date someone lower than you on the corporate ladder, whether or not they report to you, and regardless of whether your company has written rules about the situation. “Managers need to understand that they can be held personally liable for harassment if/when the relationship goes bad and one party makes a claim.” However, if you’re dating a coworker who works within your department, you’ll just want to disclose this to your direct boss, Davidoff tells me.
As for to do so, Krow admits it’s tough to say definitively.
I felt weird and strangely even bad about it, but my mom, who’d worked in human resources (HR) for 35 years, assured me that dating a coworker is common, as many people meet a significant other in the office.
Still, things didn’t go well for me when my relationship was discovered rather than revealed, and I felt, in retrospect, that I’d navigated the situation poorly. A decade later, in a post-#Me Too world, intra-office relationships seem like trickier territory than ever.
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“It’s probably wisest to tell HR and your manager first, and then your team, and then friends throughout the company,” she says.