Will Steve in sales finally get off with Tracy from accounts? Have Sunil from IT and Sharon from logistics already begun an affair?
The Christmas party and the annual conference are two calendar hotspots for a little naughtiness between work colleagues.
But what should you do if you wake up in the boss’ bed?
According to those in the know, the first thing to do is not to panic.
Sheila (not her real name), PA to the Managing Director at a media agency confesses: “I didn’t even realise I fancied my boss until we kissed at the Christmas party. When I woke up next to him in the morning, I felt sick with stress. I was a jumble of confusion, feeling guilty, exposed, vulnerable. I panicked and left the firm early in the New Year feeling rather ashamed.”
People who have experienced this claim it is better to “front it out” with the boss straight away. You need to set out guidelines for you both to follow until your relative positions can be normalised.
For example, you should explain that, while the event was exciting, it must never happen again under any circumstances. You should also stress that you will both behave as though nothing has happened. It will typically take 6-12 weeks before you both feel comfortable with each other again.
But this period is usually better than having to quit your job and go somewhere else, especially if you enjoy your work. And there is always the risk that rumours of an affair will follow you to your next company, which can be very embarrassing.
In any case, a large number of employers have clauses in their contracts of employment which enable them to terminate the employment of people who have got too close to each other, so from a job security point of view, it is expedient to brush your liaison under the carpet and move on.
In Sheila’s case, discovery of their night of passion may have seen either or both of them being fired although the truth is that it’s usually the junior person in the hierarchy who gets the sack.
But how common are these workplace flings? Many surveys suggest that 40% of people meet their spouses at work, so it must be rife! There must be hundreds of thousands of people for whom an illicit romp is worth the risk of losing their job!
None the less, office affairs are probably best avoided and with the Christmas party in mind, the best advice available is not to drink too much, not to dress too provocatively and to go home early, alone!
You know it makes sense.
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