Should business be mixed with pleasure?
LOVE is blind. Love takes a person and makes them the world - the perfect world. Then it all comes crashing down when they find you both inside the janitor's room.
Office romances are perhaps, to put it plainly, romances that happen while you are working, but with the added risk of being caught by your supervisors.
While a lot of people say you cannot stop love, being involved with someone - especially someone who is already in a relationship - can lead to a lot of trouble on both sides of the divide.
Case in point - Brian Dunn; the former chief executive of the electronics megalith Best Buy. Three years ago, he was suspected to have been involved with a female employee whose "extra hours" he could not explain.
Romances in the office can be risky business and often, office regulations have clauses that are put in place to prevent it. It still happens, but how do you deal with such things?
What do you do when things heat up? Take to heart the case of Mr Dunn and the lessons it offers you.
Try to avoid office romances as much as possible, as it can put you in a legal position that you do not want to be caught in.
It can be made more complicated if your partner is someone who is involved with other people in the office or has a significant other who works there.
Politely convey your boundaries so that it does not escalate to the height of Mr Dunn's. Better yet, make sure to nip it in the bud before any romance has the chance to blossom.
Keep your position clear and simple and, while office gossip is inevitable, avoid playing the role of office gossip, which can lead to stressful consequences for others.
IS IT WORTH THE TROUBLE?
If this is a potential romance that is leading somewhere, take a good hard look at the relationship because, many times, it is not worth it. Unless you want to end up investigated or become hot office gossip, don't do it.
Keep these interactions to a minimum and develop professional relationships with those who can further your career, but without any romantic implications.
Healthy relationships are ones that have open communication, trust and honesty. If you must become involved in an office romance, think very carefully of the implications before doing so.
Grow all relationships. Nurture them. But keep the office romances to a minimal. Your work will flourish in healthy, open relationships, not ones bound by secrecy.
Especially if you are in a high position, these sorts of affairs, much like in the case of Mr Dunn's, can lead to losses for the company and perhaps more alarmingly, it reflects your sense of morality. After you lose touch with your professional standards, it can be hard to bounce back.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK