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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and while you may be hoping to be shot with Cupid’s arrow, the office probably isn’t the best place. As the video from Buzzfeed demonstrates, office romances can be tricky… and lead to a decline in focus and productivity. Romance in the workplace can make not only those involved in the romance uncomfortable, but it can also make situations awkward for bosses and coworkers as well.

If you must be in a relationship with someone from your workplace, remember to maintain independence in the office. Obviously, don’t indulge in public displays of affection, but also don’t bring relationship troubles into work. Even in the midst of relationship problems, remember, at the office, you are coworkers first and only.[1]

Employers should consider having a policy in place for office romances. Not having a policy puts the employer at a disadvantage for handling these situations. Something as simple as requiring the that office relationships have to be disclosed to the employer can head off secretive trouble-making relationships.[2] Having a policy ahead ensures that employers don’t have to make on the spot and/or emotional decisions.

Finally, as during the winter holiday season, Valentine’s Day can emotionally impact some people more than others. While it may seem like a fun office prank to leave a gag gift or card on the desk of your single coworker, for some people that can create an environment of harassment. Even if you know that particular coworker well enough for such a joke, it is still best to leave that type behavior outside of the workplace.

While comradery and teamwork is definitely needed in the office, professionalism, courtesy, and a separation between personal and work life is critical to everyone’s success.

[1] http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/articles/2016-02-08/if-you-must-have-an-office-romance-keep-it-professional

[2] https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/love-conquers-all-workplaces

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