Are you in an office romance you’re trying to keep secret from your prying colleagues? Or have you become suspicious about certain colleagues getting closer and want to establish their working relationship? You’re not alone, a study by Totaljobs found that 66% of UK workers have dated a colleague, or would consider it.
Office romances tend to be kept under the sheets in order to remain professional and avoid distractions. Some employers even appoint relationship policies in the workplace. This can leave loved-up employees looking for ways to keep their office romances hidden from both bosses and colleagues.
If you’re dating a colleague, there are some key signals you should refrain from submitting to if you’re keeping your relationship concealed in the office.
Likewise, if your eagle eyes are looking for evidence of a blossoming office romance, pay attention to these changes to confirm the office gossip once and for all.
Signs of flirting at work
If you and your favourite colleague are suddenly acting differently around only each other, it’s a red flag to those you work with. If you’re dating someone at work, either keep the inside jokes out of the office or keep up appearances by joking with everyone.
Flirting at work could just be a lighthearted personality trait, but it could also be a sign of something much deeper and raise eyebrows amongst your colleagues.
The same holiday dates booked off
So, you’ve both conveniently got the same long weekend booked off for “family trips”. It could be a coincidence, but it could also signify a romantic getaway. If you’re dating a colleague and don’t want to get caught out, you’ll need a good cover story ready for your nosy colleagues.
Eye contact as a sign of flirting at work
You might not even be consciously aware of your changes in eye contact. Maybe now you can’t look each other in the eye at work or you can’t stop looking at each other?
It might be a small change, but variations in eye contact can indicate strong familiarity. The psychology of flirting details the power of eye contact. It can ignite a relationship, deepening attractions and illustrate previous intimacy. If you’re trying to keep your office romance quiet, be aware of how you look at your colleague in the office to stay subtle.
Coincidental breaks and lunches – a sign of dating a colleague
It could be freak chance that your coffee breaks seem to coincidence with each other, every day. But if you’re wishing to lay low, be aware of how much time you’re spending with each other during the working day. It could insinuate that you can’t stay away from your colleague to the rest of your office.
A private life on public social media
In the heat of the moment, it might seem like a nice idea to post that couple selfie on Instagram or make it Facebook official. But when you have to go back to work on Monday morning trying to come up with an excuse, was it really worth it?
As a choice, it’s probably best to prevent there being any evidence on social media or selectively choose who can see your posts.
What to do if dating a colleague ends badly?
If your office romance wasn’t meant to be and you regret getting involved with your colleague, don’t bring the breakup into the office. Your colleagues may cotton on to the situation if you’re avoiding them at all costs or going red in anger at the mention of their name.
Don’t use the workplace as a way to get back at them. Keep it professional and respectful, otherwise, all the effort of keeping it secret will have gone to waste.
By Barney Cotton
This article first appeared in Business Leader.