Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Hump Day: Do’s and don’t’s of getting down and dirty with your coworkers

A very realistic guide on how to handle interoffice hookups; be very, very careful
Jim and Pam snog
Jim and Pam snog

Staplers, linoleum halls and curmudgeonly coworkers are not the first images that come to mind when most people think about sex.

But time spent at work can lead to relationships sexier than just the old talk-around-the-water-cooler friendship. In fact, 54 percent of respondents to a Business Insider survey said they’ve had a “romantic encounter” with a coworker and 10 percent actually do it on the desk.

Crushing on a coworker can be thrilling due to its taboo nature. Many companies do not allow employees to date one another, or require that couples disclose their romantic relationship, so check those employee handbooks and survey the work environment before diving into a fling with a working friend.


There is also the ever-present issue of power and domination in the workplace. Be extra wary of sex with a supervisor, nasty drama and rumors could replace the playful banter of water cooler talk.

Keeping business and pleasure separate can be a challenge, but perhaps some Do’s and Don’t’s will help us be smart about dipping our pen in the company ink.

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  1. Have a break-up plan. If you will not be able to work side-by-side after the relationship ends, it’s best to break things off immediately.
  2. Make out in the elevator. It’s hot, but make sure to part lips in plenty of time for the doors to open.
  3. Go public for a full-on relationship. Once things become serious, it is pertinent that the company be informed. Even if there is no policy in place, telling your boss makes it clear that no one has anything to hide.
  4. Protect work reputation. Women especially may be shamed for their sexual activity, particularly if they have multiple sexual relationships among coworkers. In addition to this double standard, queer couples may face discrimination due to gender identity or sexual orientation.
  5. Consider emotional implications. Can you have no-strings-attached sex and continue to operate professionally?
  6. Work hard. Doing an excellent job can show dedication, just in case someone believes the relationship compromises your work ethic.
  7. Discuss with your partner. Have a conversation about behavior at work, disclosing the relationship to coworkers, and any other important boundaries.
  8. Own up to it if you get caught. Lying never does anyone good. If you tried to keep the hook up secret and someone finds out, disclose all relevant information and include strategies used to prevent the relationship from affecting work.
  9. Keep work at work. Do not come home and fight about work with your significant other. You should talk about business issues in businesslike ways, not during your fight about who pays for dinner the most.

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  1. Walk in together. This can show bias or seem unprofessional — especially if you’re rocking some sex hair from the night before.
  2. Spend the day together at work. Being attached at the hip may be cute, but it also may alienate your coworkers. Plus, no one wants to see you macking in your cubicle.
  3. Show favoritism. Consider possible biases and avoid them accordingly. If a partner is a boss, this is especially important; Unequal treatment could create huge problems among the staff.
  4. Date superiors (unless it’s really worth it). This relationship dynamic can produce strong relationships or it can destroy careers. Be cautious, consider all the factors and make sure to observe rules if you decide to take the plunge.
  5. Sacrifice your career. Overall, the most important things about this job are your goals, performance and work ethic. Think logically about the future and do not throw away a great job (or even just a job that makes money) for a fling.
  6. Gossip by the water cooler. Talking about the great sex you had with your coworker last night can make others feel uncomfortable. Plus, if you’re trying to keep the hook up a secret from higher-ups, this makes it much easier for a supervisor to catch wind of your relationship.

Hump Day shows you the ropes

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