Ask any human resource expert if you should pursue a work place relationship and the answer will likely be a firm NO. That is because love in the work place often leads to nepotism, gossip, jealousy, infidelity, less productivity and more absenteeism. It is however, more common in recent years simply due to the amount of time we spend at the office.

According to an article by G.E. Miller in the online magazine 20 Something Finance, 85.8 percent of males and 66.5 percent of females work more than forty hours per week. Obviously, this leaves little time for parties, bars or social events in which there is opportunity to meet a love interest, but it also means we’re getting to know our co-workers pretty well. Working side-by-side with someone on a daily basis provides keen insight into a person’s personality, values, work ethic and personal life. If you believe the notion: “friends first = solid foundation” then you can see how the office lends itself to L-O-V-E.

Although the work place relationship is usually discouraged and has the potential to put an abrupt end to a person’s employment, it has been known to work very well for some people, including Barack and Michelle Obama, who first met when she mentored him at a Chicago Law Firm. That workplace rendezvous resulted in marriage in 1992.

If walking down the isle with your workmate sounds more appealing that standing in the unemployment line, there are a few things to consider.

Avoid emotional drama and too much physical contact in front of others. It simply is not professional.

Avoid beginning an affair with someone who can further your career. If the two of you break up, one of you may have to look for a new job.

Don’t cheat on your spouse. Certainly don’t do it at the office.
Anyone who has watched episodes of Mad Men knows, the workplace is rife with lonely married people whose relationships are suffering because they do not spend enough time at home. Avoid marriage infidelity in the workplace above all other forms of workplace romance if you want to keep your job!

Unless you do plan to marry this person, and you have a date to do so, the best practice is to keep it under wraps. Knowledge of your relationship can cause resentment among your colleagues. The less anyone knows, the better. If for some reason the relationship does not go well, it is much easier to end it without the added humiliation of your whole office knowing about it.