We all know someone who has had a hook-up at a Christmas party but sometimes too much fun can have consequences. Christmas is naturally a romantic time of year; roaring open fires, mulled wine, and twinkling lights are enough to make anyone’s knees weak. But what happens when that crosses over into the workplace?
With work Christmas parties on the horizon, sexual wellness brand www.lovehoney.com has spoken to clinical sexologist and therapist, Ness Cooper, to share some advice on how you can navigate office romances this festive season.
Establish what both parties desire
“Do you want to have a long-term committed relationship or just something that lasts briefly? Is it all about the thrills and no emotional connection or are you looking for someone you want to get to know further and more personally? Do you want your fellow work colleagues to know, or do you both want to keep the relationship secret?
“Knowing the answers to some of these questions will help you not only navigate the relationship but will help you both work out whether or not you should continue it.”
Talk to HR or check your work policy
“You may find that the company you work for has a policy for office romances where certain behaviour is acceptable or not. Some companies also have a clear no-dating policy. Once you’ve both worked out what type of relationship you have, finding out if it’s ok in your workplace is important, as sometimes office romances can lead to instance job terminations or tribunals even when they are consensual.”
Keep personal relationship discussions at home
“Even if they seem like positive conversations; keeping both positive and negative relationship talks for when you’re in private at home is important so you don’t disrupt the work environment.
“Arguments within the workplace aren’t the greatest of places to talk things through and will often allow for space for you to stay within fight or flight mode for longer as you’re having to juggle workplace expatiations and tasks too.”
Avoid flirting too much in front of other work colleagues.
“It can be hard to hide those natural attractions and feelings, but forcing work colleagues to witness flirtatious behaviour not only puts them in an awkward position that they haven’t consented to, but it has also been shown to reduce work satisfaction and enjoyment for colleagues.
“There may be many reasons why colleagues may be unformattable witnessing fellow workmates flirting with each other and it can lead to these colleague connections not being as strong as before.”
If the relationship ends, keep things professional.
“Making sure you are both prepared for if things don’t work out is important, and understanding that if you both have to continue to work together, you need to keep things professional. If you can’t work together after a breakup, working out if it’d be better to change jobs or not is important to avoid unnecessary work upset and conflict.”
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Iona is a Wellness Coach specialising in relationships and dating. She works with single women to write their own love stories.