In love at work? Or in love with work?

02/07/2014 7:00 AM

02/05/2014 12:31 PM

Around Valentine’s Day, human resource consultants always send out reminders that workplace romances can be fraught with danger.

So let me get that out of the way. The No. 1 advice: Don’t date your boss. Odds are that your peers will resent it, and history suggests the relationship is likely to end badly…usually for the employee. Don’t give your boss a Valentine, either.

Counselors also encourage sensitivity about over-the-top show of cards, flowers and other gifts at work. Understand that the holiday may not be joyful for others. Save your celebrating for after hours.

Those are the usual Valentine’s admonitions. Now here’s a different take: Go ahead and fall in love — yes, with someone at work if that’s where your heart leads. Workers spend enough hours on the job that it’s far easier to meet and mesh with someone you already see most days.

Be open about your relationship. Just don’t be physically ostentatious, and don’t expect or give favors. In short, don’t let it affect your productivity or overall job performance.

Employment law attorneys and human resource officers will confirm that workplace loves are far simpler to start than stop. Breakups can be messy, whether between peers or workers at different levels in the hierarchy.

Understand that and — famous last words — try to be adult about whatever happens. Neither person should have to sacrifice a paycheck if Cupid yanks out his arrow.

Here’s another apt suggestion for Valentine’s Day. It’s a good time to reassess if you love your job. Don’t laugh. It is possible to care deeply about what you do for a living. Make a list of your pros and cons.

If there are more pluses than minuses, give yourself a virtual bouquet and consider how you might make your job even more fulfilling. More minuses? It could be time for a breakup. Just be thoughtful about choosing a new object of affection.

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