As the nation plans to return to the office over the coming weeks, some employees will be coming face-to-face again with their workplace crush. Here SoapHub reveals what you should consider – before telling them how you feel…
Read your contract
First things first, read your contract. It is somewhat common practice to initially skim read parts of an employment contract that apply to you at the time of starting a new role and then forget it exists. As a result, employees are often shocked at details that they did not foresee. Although a workplace cannot forbid a workplace romance by law, they can implement a ‘love contract’. This is a document that must be signed by both parties confirming that the relationship is consensual, will not impact workplace professionalism and a breakdown of relationship will not impact the business. Ultimately, before revealing your feelings to a crush it is worth determining if you are willing to partake in such steps.
Consider their reputation (and yours)
If office romances have been accepted in the past, it is worth studying if your crush has been involved in one in the past. This may see them reluctant to delve into another workplace romantic relationship. On the other hand, if they have been involved in several, you may wish to consider their commitment (or lack of it). Similarly, it is important that you also apply the same logic to yourself.
Think about their status
It is vital that before admitting the feelings you may hold towards your crush, you consider their chain of command. Many workplaces forbid romantic relationships between managers or subordinates as conflict of interest is likely. For instance, performance reviews, company cutbacks or opportunities of promotion can be irreversibly problematic. If your crush is in a senior position, you must think about the position you put them in if you choose to disclose your feelings.
Contemplate their general conduct
A workplace crush is not uncommon, even in the current climate. In fact, working from home for several months can fuel romances as online interaction can be taken away from an audience of co-workers, texting can develop into the norm and colleagues make a conscious effort to talk to colleagues more than usual.
If you hold a flame for a colleague, you may interpret their communication towards you as flirtatious or prescriptive to your relationship. However, they may exert the same type of communication towards everybody and is simply their general way of working. Ensure that you are aware of their behaviour towards others and how they conduct themselves.
How well do you know your personal life?
Everybody is different within a workplace setting. Some are open books, sharing every detail of their existence from what they are doing at the weekend to their family tree. Others very much segment their work life and private life. Of course, there are also those that adopt a ‘workplace persona’, only disclosing information that works towards what they want a co-worker’s perception of them to be. If you are going to bite the bullet and divulge your feelings to your crush, be 100% certain that you are aware of their relationship status outside of the office. This includes whether they are causally dating, in a long-standing relationship or married.
What is your workplace culture?
Workplace culture has never been more prescriptive to each business, regardless of industry. Some may deem corporate ‘apprentice-esque’ environments outdated whilst others may feel that the laid back ‘google demographic’, lacks professionalism. Before admitting that you have a crush, you must ascertain if it aligns with the workplace culture. Even if you work within a progressive environment with a solid social atmosphere, it may not be appropriate to cross any lines.
Before you tell all…
What is the worst-case scenario?
Before presenting your feelings to your workplace crush, envision the worst-case scenario is if it does not go the way that you hope. If you can handle the worst-case scenario, then it may be worth telling your crush.
What if you do not tell them?
How heavy is the crush weighing on your mind? If silencing your feelings is impacting the way in which you conduct your day, it may be worth adopting the ‘well at least now they (and I) know.
A time and place
The easing of lockdown may resurrect the roaring 20s with the population wishing to socialise and partake in new experiences. Binge watching Netflix will be put on pause in favour of after work drinks and social outings. If you are willing to inform your crush of your feelings, be sure that you do it in the correct setting. If you have ‘had one to many’, or in the middle of a work social, it is probably not the time.
You must be accountable for your actions and take full responsibility. In such a sensitive and personal matter, where feelings can get hurt, it can be easy to get defensive. However, it is vital that you are open with regards to admitting your feelings and do not try to shift blame.