Mixing business with pleasure is a very bad idea, according to many. However, staying in the office and working long hours have become so common that the workplace has eventually turned into a place where potential lovers meet. Career experts explain that while it is true that you can't choose with whom you may fall in love, you should be extra careful in dealing with office romance. If you are not able to handle the relationship properly, things can end up really awkward between the two of you as well as for the people around you. So, if you think you are ready to risk everything for that special someone in the workplace, at least consider these tips.

1. Know the company policy. Have the initiative to ask the human resource manager about the policy your company has regarding workplace relationships. In general, companies prohibit their workers from dating one another, especially if the relationship is between someone in the managerial level and his or her subordinate.

2. Try to spend time with each other outside the office. Avoid using your company email account to communicate with your partner. As much as possible also, enjoy a cup of coffee together after work. This way, your romance will not be too obvious to everyone in the office.

3. Test the water first. There is nothing wrong with sharing your happiness and newly found love with your friends in the workplace, especially if such a relationship is not prohibited. However, it would be a good idea if you could spend some more time to know if the relationship is going to work before you let everyone else know about it. Maintaining a relationship in the workplace isn't easy even without making anyone aware of it. So you would want to make sure first it is stable enough to be under the scrutiny of other people.

4. Avoid PDAs. Sure you want to express your affection for your partner, but remember that you are in the office to work and not to date. There will always be the proper place and time for you to hold each other's hands, but it is definitely not at work.

5. Maintain professionalism and work ethic. One of the biggest challenges you must face is how you could be professional in dealing with your partner who is also your subordinate or colleague. It takes a lot of discipline to keep focused on your job rather than your partner's feelings. But of course, both of you should know this and so it should not be an issue anymore between the two of you.

6. Never kiss and tell. Sure you have friends among your coworkers, and so it is very tempting to share with them whatever it is that's happening in your relationship. You have to resist this temptation, though, because you will never know how others may react to the things you are going to say. Playing on the safe side is always recommended.

7. Be ready to change jobs. It may sound ridiculous but getting committed to a coworker also means you should be ready for a job change anytime soon. Whether the relationship works out or not, you will have to take the risk of having to let go of your job.

Author's Bio: 

Cecile Peterkin is a certified career and retirement coach, and a registered member of the Career Professionals of Canada and the International Coach Federation. She is also the Founder and Senior Career Strategist at Cosmic Coaching Centre, provider of career and life management services for middle managers and mid-career professionals across Canada, United States and Europe