Professionally Flirting

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Flirting and dating within the workplace should always stay professional.

“Flirting is meant to be subtle anyway. As long as you continue to do your job and the flirting doesn't affect your performance, then there's no harm in it,” said University of Central Florida senior Maria Todaro.

Harmless flirting may seem fine but actually dating a co-worker may not be the best decision.

“If you love and need your job, you might want to reconsider this choice. The ramifications of your actions can have serious side effects,” suggested Tonja Weimar, single’s relationship coach, certified life-coach and author.

Those consequences can include an awkward work situation or even loss of employment.

“Although [it] is quite common, it is not a great idea for several reasons. If the partnership doesn't work out, the people involved still have to see and work with each other everyday, which might be fine for some, but uncomfortable for others. Sometimes it can be so uncomfortable that one person will have to seek employment elsewhere,” added Dating and style coach Sheila Dicks.

Having experienced the downside of dating a co-worker, Todaro said, “The break up was ugly and our ability to work together was gone. I ended up having to quit my job. In most cases I've seen, dating in the workplace usually ends in disaster.”

Yet, there are always the exceptions. Ambroose Alli University senior Ohiren Aideloje dated a co-worker for 11 months and attested that these kinds of relationships can work.

“[Working together] was very good because we had an agreement [not to let it] effect our work no matter what happened in the course of us dating. We didn’t want to lose our jobs,” said Aideloje.

Another thing to take into consideration is how may affect customers and fellow employees.

“Co-workers may not like watching a new relationship play out and might become envious or upset,” said Dicks.

When flirting in the workplace, Weimer suggested, “Maintain your professional presence at all times, never participate in gossip, nor give others reason to gossip about you, and always keep the intimate details of your life private.”

Junior > Mass Communications > University of South Florida

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