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You should also think twice about pursuing a relationship with someone in the same department.Even if you’re on the same level, dating someone on your team can still hurt your career.And it’s worth noting that people tend to hit up human resources a relationship ends — so it might be worth notifying HR anyway, especially if it’s recommended in your company policy.“Most people think it’s not necessary, nor do they want it broadcasted officially,” says Trisha Zulic, an HR professional who also serves on the SHRM’s Special Expertise panel.“If they share a professional background, they may also share an understanding of the work demands and the organizational culture,” says Amy Nicole Baker, an associate professor of psychology at the University of New Haven.“Workplace couples can also offer perspective and advice about professional and personal issues that arise with co-workers, because they share an understanding of the work context.”No surprise, then, that workplace romances — relationships that are consensual and not based on abuses of power — are no longer necessarily the illicit scandals they once were. Forget Jim and Pam (although many office relationships do end in marriage).Between Dwight and Angela, Andy and Angela, Michael and Jan, Michael and Holly, Andy and Erin, Gabe and Erin, and that one intern and Erin, the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company could put the sexed-up stars of your average soap opera to shame.
“Over the next years, you’re going to see workplace romances increasing,” Heathfield says.
In this case, only the person who’s dating you gets the benefit of your expertise — which why it’s ideal for you not to be on the same team or department in the first place.
But if it’s unavoidable, then consider talking to your HR department, as they can help you figure out how to ensure fairness and organizational integrity.
Some may prohibit intra-office dating entirely, while others only forbid relationships between managers and direct reports.
Some companies may actually insist on a relationship contract, or a signed statement that you’re in a consensual relationship, which safeguards the company from any claims of unchecked sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior.If anything from the show is true to life, it’s the depiction of the complications of office relationships, whether they’re clandestine or out in the open.