Avoid an HR night­mare

Cosmopolitan (South Africa) - - CAREER -

The right way to cross lines with a co-worker:

1 WEIGH ALL THE OB­STA­CLES

Re­view your em­ployer’s pol­icy hand­book, says Rose­mary Haefner, chief hu­man re­sources of­fi­cer at Ca­reer Builder. If any kind of of­fice ro­mance is off-lim­its and you’re not will­ing to jeop­ar­dise your job (or re­sort to find­ing a new one ), stick to pure fan­tasy. But you can go for it if you’re within the bounds of com­pany pol­icy or there’s noth­ing in writ­ing. Just be aware that, should things turn sour, your rep­u­ta­tion or fu­ture pro­mo­tions could be af­fected.

2 AVOID PDA AT ALL COSTS

Keep your hook-ups pri­vate, af­ter hours, and out of the of­fice. The break room is for cof­fee, not cun­nilin­gus! The build-up of sex­ual ten­sion will be to­tally worth it when you fi­nally find a safe, se­cluded lo­cale.

3 CO­OR­DI­NATE YOUR EX­ITS

Col­leagues may get sus­pi­cious if you show up and leave to­gether at the same time ev­ery day, says Haefner. Space out your ar­rivals and de­par­tures by at least five min­utes.

4 GO DARK ON SO­CIAL ME­DIA

If you both take a few days off for a trip (let it be noted: that’s a po­ten­tially dan­ger­ous move) and some­one asks where you’re go­ing, say you’re hol­i­day­ing with a friend. Once there, be­ware of post­ing pics or sta­tus up­dates – es­pe­cially if your work­place is gos­sipy.

5 BE HON­EST WHEN IT’S TIME

A gen­eral rule of thumb is to wait three months be­fore dis­clos­ing that you’re dat­ing a co-worker. Tell your su­per­vi­sor, says Haefner. Af­ter that, if your other co-work­ers ask about it, you can down­play it (‘Yeah, we’re see­ing each other’) – but don’t out­right deny it un­less you’re look­ing for drama.

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