Here's the thing - you can't help who you fall in love with, but you can decide whether or not to act on it.
If you work with plenty of members of the opposite sex, there's no doubt a little fantasy (maybe just a micro-fantasy), of an office romance has passed through your mind.
This week, news Barnaby Joyce is expecting a baby with an ex-staff member has the issue of office romance in the spotlight.
While the instinctive reaction to an office crush for most is to ignore and deny, there are quite a few stories that prove the fantasy could be worth the risk.
A recent survey found that couples who meet through work (as opposed to online or in a bar) are most likely to marry.
Barack and Michelle Obama are one such example. They met when Michelle was assigned as a mentor to Barack, while the pair were working at a Chicago law firm back in 1989.
There are many laws in Australia which mean an office romance could quickly become a legal issue. Make sure you've done your research here and understand what the romance could mean for you, your partner and your careers
A few people who have been part of an office relationship have generously shared their stories online, lest we all learn from them before taking the plunge.
But it didn't start out all roses and flowers. We dated at first, and I left him, and then it was REALLY REALLY REALLY awkward because even though we were in different departments (and on different shifts!) we still had to both go to the same place every day and see each other sometimes. It sucked. Bad.
When we got together again, things were okay. But here's a few rules:
1.) No relationship stuff at work. None of it. Especially making out.
2.) Don't bother telling anyone (even your bosses). They'll figure it out, but it's not their business as long as you keep it outside of work.
3.) As a woman at a new job, dating someone at your office will not give you any credibility. Don't be surprised if you get passed over for promotions and stuff like that.
4.) Let me emphasize again that you do not engage in PDAs at work, no matter how tempting it is or how private the corner seems.
Just be as professional as possible and wait to ravage him until you're out the doors at the end of the day.
Find out your company policy about office relationships - some have strict no dipping your pen in the company ink policies, some require you to sign off on the relationship with mgmt to avoid any issues if the relationship ends, some places just don't care.
To avoid becoming office gossip keep your work life and personal life 100% separate. People gossip at work and the last thing you want is for people to point to you are your partner and claim they don't do work because they are to busy flirting and chatting all day. Keep professional stuff professional and you will be fine.
We work in different departments, although we do interact (I'm in IT, so I do provide tech support for her and her department).
First, you will be office gossip. No way to avoid that. Just make sure the gossip isn't stuff you would be embarrassed about!
Second, relax. Act professional. If you are not in a direct supervisor/employee relationship, In my opinion it's nobody's businesses what you do. Yes, I know that many businesses "frown upon" or even outright ban inter-office relationships, but those bans are not the law, just the business's policy. If you provide value to your business and don't cause distractions, they will not fire you.
Work is work, it's not your life. Anything you can do to make work more enjoyable makes you a better worker, so just go with it.