Workplace Dating, Is It Acceptable?

So last night our program managers treated our customer as well as us testers to dinner at a local restaurant. Over the course of dessert, the subject of how each person met his/her wife/husband or girlfriend/boyfriend. One of my colleagues told him that she was dating someone in another department which led to some teasing by the customer. He had two rules, these rules are as follows:

1) No dating at work.
a) If you have to date at work, no dating a colleague you work/interact with at work.

The funny thing is, he admitted that he had actually met his wife at work, but he never broke rule 1a. So this leads to the question, is it or is it not acceptable to date someone at work? I know a few colleagues who are presently dating someone at work now, or is dating someone they used to work with. Just to be clear, I don’t mind other people dating at work. Personally I don’t have plans to date anyone at work but here’s the dilemma.

Many of us full time working professionals spend the majority of our weekly hours at work. At my company, most individuals average approximately 45 hours per week. In my lab, most of my co-workers average 50 hours per week. With that being said, most people wake up before the sun is up and end up leaving work after the sun is down. By the time we get home we have to cook dinner, clean, and with what little time we have, relax, go to the gym, or attempt to socialize. I’m not saying socializing after work isn’t possible, I’m just pointing out that there’s only so many hours to do so. So what do you do when you’re having a hard time getting out of the house/work to go out and meet people? Some people do so at work, others turn to online dating, and others turn to friend set ups.

But let’s get back to the topic of dating at work. I’ve listed some of the reasons why people do it. Here’s some of the reasons why people shouldn’t do it. Let’s start with the most obvious argument, dating doesn’t always work out. What happens if the person you were dating is someone that you need to work with on a frequent basis? Not only does this leave both of you in an awkward situation, it results in a tense work environment. Another argument against dating someone at work is that it mixes work and play environments. I’m not saying that you’ll be messing around at work the whole time, but in the time that you’re flirting with someone at work, you’re also not using that time to be productive. It’s like they say, “don’t shit where you eat.”

At the end of the day, I’m neither for or against it. I think sometimes things are beyond your control. I’m interested to read what you guys think about dating at work. Is it appropriate or not? If so, how should you go about it?

Thanks for reading. Feel free to comment.

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