Book Writing Adventures

Janice & Jordan Harbinger on Romance in the Workplace: Good or Bad Idea?

What do you think? Should she take the rose, or squash his heart?

Well damn; it’s Monday already? Okay, so tell the truth: How many BB&W members are compiling their outfits and laying our their $100 shoes and MAC makeup so they can snatch the attention of that rainbow man who keeps sneaking looks at you, hmmm?

Today’s discussion is on whether or not it is even a good idea to engage in workplace flirtations. We have two very distinct opinions for you to consider before you drag dude into the bathroom and work him over: Last week cutie-patootie Jordan Harbinger impressed us with his handy-dandy advice on body language and flirting with rainbow men. He had me going until I asked him a question about communicating romantic interest with a rainbow co-worker. His response surprised me: Jordan H on workplace romance

Hmmm….I don’t know if I totally agree. BUT! If you must rub up on the hot rainbow man, Janice has a few tips to keep in mind.

— Christelyn




By Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn

As Christelyn and I are now waist-deep in our research for the book, we’re becoming acquainted with more and more couples swirling all over the United States – and globally. More often than not, the couples met at work. And it’s not surprising actually when you look at the stats.

Various studies have noted that close to 80 percent of workers are either involved in, or knew someone who is involved in, a workplace romance. In fact, on-the-job romances are so common, research indicates that one-third of all relationships begin at work. [So for those of you still wondering where to find a mate — just peak over at the cute guy in the cubicle next to you and see if he’s wearing a ring. If not…lunch date!]

Consider women now comprise 45% of the U.S. workforce according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it creates an almost even playing field for hooking up with potential partners. That, and longer work hours are another factor — at least one in 10 employees in the U.S. put in over 60 hours per week on-the-job.

Couple that with all this popular team-building business going on at companies and – presto! – a hot bed of intimate interaction is born between people who are apt to share the similar projects and job pressures, not to mention comparable educational and socioeconomic backgrounds.

(Of course working from home makes it a lot harder to meet like-minded professionals – unless you move your “office” to a Starbucks — if you’re a writer, it’s almost a no-brainer for a hook-up.)

Although the workplace is great place to find a date – or a lifelong squeeze — workplace romances can be problematic. So in order to give the heart what it wants – and keep your pay-the-bills gig – play it smart.

●Establish ground rules from the beginning, making it clear that if the relationship does not work out that you will remain professional on the job at all times.

●Know your company’s written and unwritten rules about romantic, sexual, extramarital and dating relationships.

●Limit the number of people with whom you will share this information and be aware of the perception of others. You never want to be perceived as creating a hostile work environment or abusing your power – and you definitely don’t want to skew perception of your professional identity.

● Behave discreetly and keep public displays of affection off limits at work. If your position requires you to work with your mate, be sure conduct yourself in the same manner as you did prior to the relationship. Continue to speak your opinions, exhibit the same skills and act professionally at all times. Refrain from discussing your out-of-office plans with your partner to avoid becoming fodder for gossip.

●Discuss, as a couple, the potential impact your relationship will have on your work. Be prepared for a less-than-favorable response from your company regarding the partnership, realizing that one of you may have to leave the company or be transferred to another department. Make a plan of action before the company requests one.

Follow Christelyn on Instagram and Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube channel. And if you want to be a little more about this online dating thing, InterracialDatingCentral is the official dating site for this blog.