And when it happens to you, there are a lot of things to consider about how you go about carry on your romance in the workplace.
Dana Brownlee, president of professional training development company Professionalism Matters, advises against initiating a romance with your manager, or, likewise, with anyone who reports to you directly or indirectly."If you're a manager, you should be held to a higher standard," she says.
"You're creating a climate where people are going to see bias whether there really is bias or not."Relationships with your peers are generally more acceptable—assuming they're unhitched.
As long as you are polite and respectful when you ask your coworker out, and so long as you can both keep your workplace relationship professional, you should have nothing to worry about.
However, it's always a good idea to check with your employee handbook or human resources representative about any workplace dating policies first so that you can avoid potential problems down the line.
The key is that you guys are on the same page."You'll also want to make sure you set some boundaries about how much time you spend together in the office in order to actively manage your coworkers' and managers' perceptions.
No one thought anything of a random chat you two had in your office before the relationship, but now it can be misconstrued as a social call or, even worse, a risky-business meeting."You can get a reputation, whether it's earned or not," Brownlee says.
Plus, if the two of you are uncomfortable around each other while working on a common project, your performance may suffer—and that could in turn hurt your prospects for promotions or raises.
To avoid some of these consequences, Brownlee says you're better off asking out someone in a different department vs. Remember that During Business Hours, Work Comes First If you decide to pursue the relationship, set up some ground rules before things get too serious, says Brownlee.
You've already looked into the company policy, so you understand which superiors need to know. "In the early, casual stages, it's probably better to keep it quiet," says Brownlee.