Rekindling of office friendships are happening with the boom of people returning to the office but so is another another post pandemic trend, the office romance. And if you remember anything about the show The Office, the employees of Dunder Mifflin spent more time falling in and out of love than they did selling paper. Even if you never watched the show, here are my takeaways on how to handle any office romance.
You and your coworkers would probably be way more productive than they were on that show, as long as you don’t have a boss like Michael Scott around LOL.
Still, even busy professionals may feel attracted to each other when they spend so many hours together each week. It's called having a "work husband" or "work wife," but knowing how to handle these seemingly innocent situations is important for your career and your love life.
Let's examine what The Office can teach you about getting involved with someone at work.
Several Office couples wound up getting married and having children. That doesn’t mean there weren’t plenty of sticky situations along the way for the characters Jim and Pam, Dwight and Angela, and Michael and Holly.
Lessons from Workplace Romances that Actually Worked Out
Stay Focused. It’s important to keep up with your responsibilities even when you’re in love.
No PDA. In one episode, an entire staff meeting was devoted to Michael and Holly’s public displays of affection. Wait until closing time to kiss and hold hands because people surely will tell.
Dish Your Dirt at Home. Most couples have disagreements, but don't discuss your dirt at the office. Instead resolve personal conflicts at home and definitely date only one coworker at a time.
Think Ahead. By the last episode, only Dwight and Angela remained at Dunder Mifflin. If your relationship doesn't work out, will it be awkward? Or does sustaining your relationship mean one of you would need to change jobs.
Some characters like Andy and Gabe were less lucky in the love department and the employees around these unhappy duos sometimes suffered too. Like having to sit next to Ryan and Kelly in the annex was a widely feared form of punishment.
Lessons Learned From Office Relationships That Broke Up:
Know Your Company Policies. Michael and Jan almost lost their jobs when their trip to Jamaica became public knowledge. Read your employee manual to ensure that you comply with your obligations.
Don't Date Down. Relationships between supervisors and subordinates are really controversial. If you need further convincing, look at how things turned out for Michael and Jan.
Recognize the Rebounder. Remember Karen who gave up her job and home to be with Jim, but he went back to Pam? Just like out of office romances, the rebound is real. Ponder the possible consequences before you leap.
Take it Slow. Ryan and Kelly may have had fewer misunderstandings if they had established a friendship first. Pacing yourself is even more important when you’ll be working together because the breaking up my involve finding a new job too.
Ditch Social Media. Try to keep your social life from becoming a topic of conversation and keep your personal life off of social media.
Don't Slack. You could tell when Angela’s heart was broken by the amount of cat hair on her clothing. If you're a high performer at work, maintain that and keep up with grooming and eat healthy even when you’re down in the dumps.
Communicate Like Co-Workers. Put your personal feelings aside during office hours, maintain a positive attitude and open communications about work matters.
Weigh the Risks. Workplace romances are usually more successful if they’re based on true affection. Maybe that’s why most of the relationships on The Office bring back happy memories despite their complications. If you really care about each other, it may be worth taking a chance on love.
In real life, office romances are almost as common as they are on TV. Did you know one out of three adults has dated someone at work, according to a poll by the Society for Human Resource Management? If you decide to go for it take your time, consider the risks, remain professional at work at all times, and respect office/home boundaries. But remember, if it's to risky, take time to DateYourselfGirl!