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|When Sparks Fly at the Office: Should you sleep with a co-worker?|
Yes, life at the office- snappy dressers, long hours and fun, harmless flirtation. Or is it just all in good fun?
Flirting at the office and feeling attracted to co-workers is nothing new, nor is it surprising. After all, you are working with a group of people who share the same interests as you do and understand all the same things that you do as well. You have plenty to talk about, are dressed at your best and spend most of the day together, so you are bound to find someone attractive and start flirting. Flirting at work is mainly harmless good fun- a simple social interaction between people who find each other attractive, but nothing more. Other times however, the flirting means much more and the desire to take it to the next level becomes a thought you become consumed with and find yourself fantasizing about more and more often.
Before you know it, you are going out for a coffee or lunch with just the two of you, the flirting gets heavier and more frequent and the signs become clearer that there is more there between you than just the usual innocent, harmless flirting. You find yourselves touching each other and finding more excuses to be around one another and even meet more often outside of work. The sexual tension keeps building and you feel like you can't take it anymore.
But should you sleep with a co-worker?
We all know that it is never recommended to mix business with pleasure- and with good reason. Even with knowing that though, people still do it because well- sexual temptations are strong and persistent. They rarely go away unless you scratch that itch and find out for yourself and something about breaking the rules makes it even more exciting. Sleeping with a co-worker can have damaging consequences to your professional reputation though and could end badly. Most people who do sleep with a co-worker usually move on once the excitement wears off and get over it, but there are times when the word spreads due to one or both people choosing not to be discreet about it. This is when the gossip begins and rumors spread like wild fire, ending in the most of the workplace knowing and talking about it. This may not seem like such a big deal, especially if you are a confident personality who does not care about what people think, but in your professional world- you should care only because it could damage your image and affect your career. People can be quite judgmental and will not look at you the same way or respect you as a fellow colleague any longer, seeing you as someone who sleeps around the work place. This can result in you not climbing as high up the success ladder as you would like, not to mention the one that everyone now whispers about when you walk by.
So you just need to decide what risks you feel are worth taking at the office. You are in charge of making your own decisions, so if you feel the temptation is that strong and like you and your co-worker can be trusted to stay quiet about it, go ahead if you really feel it'll be worth it. If you can resist the temptation though, perhaps it would be better to steer clear of turning this understandable but high risk fantasy into reality. After all, polls and studies have shown that most of affairs that start at the office do not end well, with someone always getting hurt, whether it be emotionally, professionally- or both.
Written by Alina van Jenni