Love is in the air, or it was on Tuesday February 14, which is not only Valentine’s Day but also a day for going to work, where many love stories blossom! We spend so much time at work these days, it’s not surprising that our workplaces have also become our dating grounds!

But what are some of the traps to starting a romance at work? I went out to my team of HR professionals, who have seen their fair share of office romances, for some tips for those considering hooking up with a colleague.

  1. Have the end in mind. Are you prepared to leave your job if it doesn’t work out? One of my colleagues shared the extra work she had to put into rostering her hospitality staff when romances broke up! Do you want to see that person everyday at work once it has gone sour?
  2. Keep your hands to yourself. No PDA or public displays of affection and no using the office as a hotel room on the weekends. In this day and age of 24/7 working, many people head to the office on a weekend to get some work done quietly. Unfortunately one of my HR strategists was faced with the issue of one couple using the office as their love nest on the weekends, distracting those who were onsite for some quiet work time!
  3. No pillow talk. Just because you may now be sharing apartment keys, that does not mean that office keys, passcodes or confidential information is to be shared. You need to be even more careful with office talk you take home when your partner also works alongside the same people.
  4. Be aware of any company disclosure policies your workplace may have in place. This is where you may be required to disclose the relationship so that HR can ensure there is no potential conflict of interest or confidentiality breaches. If these are breached they can lead to instant dismissal.
  5. Cost. Can you afford to invite the entire office to your wedding?! Depending on the size of your office, eloping may be a good option!

We can’t help who we fall in love with or where but if you find love blooming in the workplace it may be worth considering these traps to ensure that there are no broken hearts (or careers) this Valentine’s Day!

Author: Sel Watts
Sel, the Founder of wattsnext Group, is a visionary and inspiring business leader. With a deep passion for small to medium business (SMB), Sel brings gutsy honesty and commercial realism to the table. A true entrepreneur, Sel is committed to disrupting the way business owners utilise HR and increase performance and engagement. She is also curious about technology and the future of work, using her business as an experimental lab of forward-thinking methodologies to help her clients achieve peak performance. Sel is also the Co-Founder of multiple businesses and spends time coaching other business owners, keeping it real with her vast tactical experience of growing businesses. She also has a pretty interesting life story which you can check out at her personal website