Q. I noticed that one of the guys I work with has been making flirty eyes at me. I like him. He's funny and smart, and a lot of other people in our department seem to be dating. I've always heard that's a bad idea. If the company is OK with it though, is there any reason not to pursue this?
A. Office romances can create a number of complications. First, before you ever consider it, you need to be sure that the power-balance is equal. You can create a number of problems for yourself if you start a relationship with somebody you manage either directly or indirectly. Even though you mention a number of people are dating, you should still check to see if your company has a policy regarding employees dating. You need to make sure that you won't be distracted at work. You're there to get a job done, not to socialize, so if you're the type that can be easily lured into distractions, you should avoid this. Company tools like e-mail may be read by your employer, so be sure to keep your e-mails professional unless you want to share your mash notes with your boss. Finally consider what will happen if things don't work out. You'll still be seeing this person and you may still need to work closely with them. Even if you're sure that you will be able to rise above that kind of awkwardness, can you be sure that the subject of your affection will be able to do the same?