Workplace Romance: Yay or Nay?


Zoe and Wash. Meredith and Derek. And even though we all knew that Rachel is and will always be his lobster, Ross and Charlie. Sometimes, the heart wants what it wants. If these names do not ring a bell to you, here’s a mini tidbit: these fictional characters are involved in a relationship with their co-worker.

Frankly speaking, the relationship of these three pairs of lovebirds paint workplace romance in a bad light. Case in point and spoiler alert: Two tragically dies in the end, and one gets dumped for an ex. Gotham‘s Harvey Bullock’s sentiment has the ring of truth: “Office romance always ends in tears.” Perhaps, this is the writers’ subtle way of telling viewers that dating a fellow colleague is a specious move.

To Date Or Not To Date?

Image Source: Tord Sollie

But that doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

Despite living in the 21st century, dating a co-worker is still very much a taboo issue — especially in Singapore. Back in 2011, JobsCentral conducted a survey among 2,281 respondents and found out that 57 per cent of them would not date a co-worker. This is hardly a surprise. It’s difficult taking an organisational perspective instead of a personal one when you’re a couple in the office.

Interestingly enough, the survey showed that managers and directors are dead set against plunging into office romance, while associate professionals and technicians have no qualms.

Aside from getting worried about the courtship (knock on wood) ending in disaster, many are bound to be concerned about the after-breakup awkwardness. Michelle Lim, the previous COO of JobsCentral Group has also mentioned other possible repercussions like “unhealthy gossips, allegations of favouritism and management difficulties.”

A Few Ground Rules

Image Source: Simon Hattinga Verschure
  • No PDAs in the office, save it outside work. Besides, you don’t want to hear a “Get a room!” remark by the rest of your co-workers.
  • Treat everyone equally. That means no special favours to your significant other.
  • Keep work separate from your private life. An office romance does not give you the excuse for the loss of productivity.
  • Keep a low profile. You don’t want your colleagues questioning your relationship and adding fuel to the fire.

In short, it’s not against the rules to date a co-worker, but it is frowned upon by many. If you’re already dating or about to embark on a new relationship with a co-worker, you must know what you’re getting into, and learn to keep a fine line between work and your personal life.

We spend a great deal of time at work; it’s not hard to see why most people find love in the workplace. If you understand the boundaries and adhere to these rules above, the odds are definitely in your favour.


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Cover Image Source: Legion of Leia

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Throwback Thursday: Zoe Washburne


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