Daily Mail: Is an office romance ever a good idea? - Michelle Gibbings

Whether it’s frowned upon or not, some co-workers simply can’t help but strike up an office romance. There are pros and cons of a workplace tryst – I was asked for my thoughts on the subject by The Daily Mail. You can read the article here.

Is an office romance EVER a good idea? Meet the woman who dated her co-worker and is still married to him 16 YEARS later – our experts reveal the pros and cons of a workplace tryst

  • Experts reveal why it can be fraught to start a relationship in the workplace
  • They lay out the pros and cons as well as highlight the issues to be aware of
  • Dr Nikki Goldstein said it’s important to have professional boundaries in place
  • Linda Reed-Enever revealed how office romance blossomed into marriage

Whether it’s frowned upon or not, some co-workers simply can’t help but strike up an office romance.

And while many believe it’s a terrible idea, one happy couple are proof that it can work out for the best.

Linda Reed-Enever, 39, of Victoria, met her husband of 16 years while she was working at a telecommunications company in 2001.

At the time she was a call centre manager, and he headed up the sales team.

The mother-of-one told FEMAIL when the pair met they were working for a fairly large company – one that had around 80 staff.

She said both worked in separate departments, and neither seemed to be looking for anything.

‘Over a couple of months conversations happened. There was nothing untoward about it.

‘We’d go for drinks after work with mates and eventually it developed into something more for both of us in that particular area.’

Not long after the pair had started seeing each other, Mr Reed-Enever was transferred to Western Australia.

‘It was at that point in time I had to make a decision about whether I was going to, or if I was staying,’ she said.

In the end, Mrs Reed-Enever said she approached her managers to ask if she could also be transferred, and with the backing of the company she moved.

‘At that stage, the company knew about the relationship.’

Mrs Reed-Enever also revealed that as things progressed between the two, they inevitably became the subject of office chat.

‘You work in a call centre or sales environment, they’ll gossip, if you don’t tell them the truth.

‘And there was 25 years between Clive and me which made it hard.’

Rather than avoid the issue, Mrs Reed-Enever decided to speak about her relationship openly after she was questioned by a member of staff.

‘I expected honesty from my team so I couldn’t not be honest with them.’

She said her interstate transfer meant she would be moving in with her new partner, and that the pair would be coming and going from the office as a couple.

‘There was no point in hiding it from our staff or our organisation,’ she said.

‘Really, it comes down to the boundaries you set.’

Workplace expert Michelle Gibbingsalso noted the importance of maintaining professional boundaries if you’ve started seeing a colleague romantically.

‘This all depends on who you’re having a relationship with as to where the challenges lie,’ said Ms Gibbings, author of Step Up: How To Build Your Influence at Work.

If a person works in another department the situation is going to be very different one where the person is in your team, or they’re your direct report, or you report to them.

‘That’s when it starts getting really murky and starts getting really messy. It’s really important for people when they find themselves in this situation to think about long-term consequences,’ the expert outlined.

These can range from how a relationship with a co-worker could potentially impact on your reputation or even worse, on your career.