This spring, don’t be surprised if love is bursting all around your cubicle.
Vault.com’s 2010 Office Romance Survey showed that this year more people are willing to look for romance at the office.
Last year, 80 percent of responders said the recession was a reason to take fewer romantic risks at work. But this year, 69.7 percent said the shaky economy is no longer a factor when choosing whether to start an office fling.
“It looks like the focus has shifted and people want to live their best life,” said Connie Thanasoulis-Cerrachio, a Vault career expert.
She emphasized that work can be a great place to meet like-minded people, as long as you use common sense.
Here are some of Thanasoulis-Cerrachio’s tips for surviving — and thriving in — office romances:
1. Talk to human resources.
“If you have someone in HR, it’s not a bad idea to tell them, because, as companies are restructuring and downsizing, you could end up reporting to the person you’re dating,” she said.
“If it turns out that you are reporting to someone you’re dating, you need to tell HR and switch things up.”
Some companies have policies in which you must tell HR about a relationship, though they’re often unclear. So do your research.
2. Don’t date outside clients. Dating clients can create a potential conflict of interest, so you should have someone else take over the account when a relationship starts.
3. Don’t gossip. You don’t want people talking about you, and while it’s unrealistic that you’ll keep your new romance entirely to yourself, you want to make sure talk doesn’t overshadow your professionalism or your brand, Thanasoulis-Cerrachio said.
Also, keeping things separate will help if you and your co-worker break up.