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"Reporting a relationship improves your odds of avoiding an awkward situation when word gets out," says Green. Jennifer, 25, an accountant, kept quiet about her relationship—until she and her boyfriend were assigned to the same project.
"HR reassigned one of us due to 'scheduling.' It actually let us tell people when we were ready, and any stress we felt went away."Be Aggressive About Boundaries It's natural to think about how an office romance will affect your career, but the fact that you work together will also affect your , so make sure to draw a line between work life and love life.
"He needs, like, three feet of space in the elevator," she jokes.
But their co-working is going smoothly as a result.
No, Really: Avoid the Boss According to HR consultant Laurie Ruettimann, most written policies prohibit employees from dating only a direct boss or subordinate. Experts spoke with discourage manager-subordinate romances because they create the perception (or reality) of favoritism; in a worst-case scenario, both parties could be fired or dragged through a harassment lawsuit.
And women are disproportionately judged for these relationships, whether they're the boss—"With great power comes great responsibility," warns Green—or if they're the underling.
"Nowadays work and life are very integrated." In that light, these stats aren't surprising: 37 percent of people have dated a coworker, according to a 2015 survey by Career Builder, and 30 percent of those relationships ended in marriage (proving that an office romance is not always a disaster).
Yes, it's embarrassing, but you'll be glad you did.
Jessica, 25, an antiques expert who moved across the country and, basically, in with a coworker, eventually realized that the relationship-job combo was dominating her new life.
"I hadn't made any female friends, and I missed that," she recalls.
"Older generations saw work as a separate place," says Renee Cowan, Ph.
D., an assistant professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio who studies office relationships.
"We took things slowly because we were both very aware that we worked in the same office," she remembers.