Author Topic: SO and Co-worker  (Read 8448 times)

mmta1234

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 22
  • Location: Midwest
SO and Co-worker
« on: December 02, 2014, 03:41:41 PM »
How many of you have worked with your SO? Was this a large company or small business/start-up, etc. ? What has been your experience ? What are advantages and disadvantages and would you do it again ? Did you enter the relationship before or after working together?
« Last Edit: December 02, 2014, 03:51:47 PM by mmta1234 »

Allie

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2578
Re: SO and Co-worker
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2014, 03:47:32 PM »
I worked in the same small organization as my DH for 3 years.  He was on one project and knew they were looking for someone with my exact qualifications for another project.  He let me know about the opening and let them know I was available.  There weren't any other qualified applicants, it was a small town, so I got the job and it worked out well.  If we had been working in the same office.  I'd like to say that it would have gone well, but probably not.  I think we are both totally different in our work roles than we are at home. 

genselecus

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 46
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Oakland, CA
Re: SO and Co-worker
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2014, 04:02:15 PM »
My girlfriend is also my coworker. We met and started dating after she started at the company where we work. We typically haven't worked together (we are consultants), but most recently we were staffed on the same project. It hasn't been much of an issue, although generally I wouldn't recommend it. It can be advantageous to work with your SO; you go the same place for work, can relate better when work issues come up, etc. Naturally, there are risks associated with it as well. Things worked out well for us (been more than 2.5 years and going very strong), but for the people that don't stay together, I'm sure it can create major challenges.

For your reference, our company is pretty small (< 50 people in our group, < 150 in the company). On a potentially related note, our company also recently changed our employee handbook to better outline employee relationships. Not sure what the motivation of this post is, but I'm guessing you are considering it. If you do, you should definitely see what your company's rules are.

tmac

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 470
Re: SO and Co-worker
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2014, 04:08:48 PM »
We met on the job, and have been self-employed together for a decade. It works well because we have separate roles. I'm back office; he's client-facing. We're also both pretty laid back and each defers to the other if needed.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2014, 04:53:25 PM by tmac »

more4less

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 85
  • Age: 37
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: SO and Co-worker
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2014, 04:51:03 PM »
Did anyone mention having sex in the conference room? :D
PS: I personally try to keep things as separate as possible - friends, family, business and romantic relationship.

Frankies Girl

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3774
  • Age: 85
  • Location: The oubliette.
  • Ghouls Just Wanna Have Funds!
Re: SO and Co-worker
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2014, 05:07:41 PM »
Met my husband working for the same company. It was around 100+ employees, and we worked the same schedule and technically were in the same department, and were friends for several months before we started dating. It was awesome as we got to spend time together just working (sat within talking distance), and on our breaks and hang out after work. As we lived on opposite sides of town, this meant that we didn't see each other as much if we weren't working (hour + drive to each others' houses).

I left the company for a better opportunity a few months after we started dating, and we ended up moving in together and getting married after a year or so. Would have been nice if we'd actually moved in together while still working together to save on the commuting costs! ;)

I honestly don't know that I would do it again without knowing that we'd end up married, but probably? It really was one of those things where we both knew really early on that we were going to be best friends and end up together.

Disadvantages... well, if you break up, you still might have to work with that person, so I'd be REALLY sure that dating is something you just have to try. You might get sick of seeing the person every day (or not - I didn't), and you might get really sick of lapsing into "shop talk" while out together. You'll have to worry about coworkers gossiping or pestering you about your relationship, and you definitely will have to make sure you stay professional at work as you'll be under more scrutiny if coworker relationships are not actually banned (and in that case, worry about keeping said relationship a secret from other coworkers if you are prohibited from office romances).

Definitely work on hanging out as friends first to make sure you both are a good match. If you go out with a small group of coworkers as friends, that gives you a chance to develop a deeper relationship and realize if you do want to take it to the next level; that's what the husband and I did. Hang out as friends first with other friends, then see where it goes from there. There's less pressure for things to work out too if you get to know each other a bit more as friends before jumping into dating.


I've seen office romances work out beautifully, but also seen several blow up in a huge mess and result in one or both of the people leaving or getting let go for inappropriate office behavior. I think it really depends on you and the intended datee's personality - can you both handle a relationship at work, will you be okay working together in the event that things don't work out, etc...

BPA

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1202
Re: SO and Co-worker
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2014, 05:14:55 PM »
We teach at the same school and met there.  When he was hired, he was married to someone else and so we were just work friends.  He came to me for support when he found out she was cheating because I'd been through the same thing.  After six months we started dating.

Seven years later things are going well.  We did break up once for about a month and a half and made sure that we behaved in a professional manner. 

Early on we made a plan of how we would behave if we broke up and we stuck to it. 


TerriM

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 505
Re: SO and Co-worker
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2014, 06:13:53 PM »
Follow your instincts.  If you think it'd work, you can try it.  If you feel like it'd be a bad idea, then avoid it.  If you're not sure, I'd err on the side of caution.

Right now, I know for certain that I would not work with my husband nor even want to be in the same company.   Even when he's right, I don't feel like he gives advice in a way that I react well to, and I would not want to hear from him what others think of me.  On the flip side, I've worked on projects with a best friend, and it's worked well.  I'd do that again any day.

mozar

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3504
Re: SO and Co-worker
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2014, 06:49:13 PM »
I once worked with a SO and then went through a messy break up. But the break up didn't really spill into work because we were on different floors and could avoid each other.

EDSMedS

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 211
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Washington, DC
Re: SO and Co-worker
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2014, 07:07:34 PM »
I have done pro-bono consulting at DW's non-profit, with DW as my project lead.  It was excellent!  I gained greater appreciation for her intelligence, vision, and capabilities.  I also worked with her as an industrial sanitation laborer on large project-based events that were stressful, gross, confusing, and tons of fun.  I learned about her tenacity, focus, and toughness!

However, there are relationship phases that do not mesh well with productivity: gaga phase; learning-to-communicate phase; post-argument phase (or habit?); pre, mid, and post-breakup phase.  There are a ton of elements to take into consideration; only you can fully understand the situation.

I recommend checking out seasons 4-6 of Parks and Recreation.  Ben and Leslie, and April and Andy seem to make it work. ;)

deborah

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 13810
  • Age: 12
  • Location: Australia or another awesome area
Re: SO and Co-worker
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2014, 07:11:56 PM »
My worst work experience was through a work relationship - my boss was secretly dating our HR manager. When things went pear shaped between my boss and me, there were very real problems. To this day I think it should have been open, and that if I went the complaints route, they would have been out on their ears.

TerriM

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 505
Re: SO and Co-worker
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2014, 09:22:39 PM »
PS:  One other problem with being at the same job is that if there are layoffs, you might both get the ax at the same time.  We knew a couple who had that happen after 20+ years at a big company :(

act01

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 655
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: SO and Co-worker
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2014, 10:07:37 PM »
DH used to work a corporate job, and they hired me as a temporary employee (where he was my boss). I enjoyed it, but it was a lot of direct time together. We commuted together, worked together, lunch together... if we had a fight or something personal we needed to talk about, it was tough because we'd be stuck together and couldn't really talk openly/privately. I think if we were to do that long term, it'd have to be in different departments (which works great for other couples we know in the field.)

I've worked for several small companies owned by couples. One was tough because they brought their personal life into the job (one went through cancer while I worked there- that was really tough). The other two kept their marital life separated from the business, but their marriages probably suffered from it (especially when business was bad). Both got divorced.

If you guys do the same job or are in the same field - make sure you have common interests outside of work before getting serious. Honestly, after 10 years I've nearly burnt out on my field because I never get a break from it... talk about it at work, at home, a lot of friends in the industry... it's really a drag when your partner's hobbies don't go far beyond your job/field and you need a break.

LibrarIan

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 517
Re: SO and Co-worker
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2014, 08:57:08 AM »
My girlfriend as of 2006 (now my wife) got hired at a local public library. I followed suit two months later in the same department, but we didn't tell anyone we were together. Eventually we ended up in different departments. However, when we got engaged, the higher-ups obviously found out and threatened to move my wife to another location (I was in a position that couldn't move easily).

Eventually my wife applied for and received a promotion at another branch, so it was less of them forcing her somewhere and more her earning a better position somewhere else. Neither of us work there now, but I think the organization ended up actually liking that we were "that library couple" and even used our wedding details in a blog post about doing wedding research at their library.


rujancified

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 195
  • Age: 44
  • Location: NC
Re: SO and Co-worker
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2014, 09:20:02 AM »
I worked with my (now) husband for 4.5 years in the same department (occasionally same team) when we were dating. He's worked for another team at the same megacorp for over 4 years now. There's good and bad to working with your SO. 

The good:
-You know all the sides of that person. Getting a front row seat to witness the way he interacts with and inspires his team is pretty damn cool. I know loads more about the way his mind works because I've seen him work through shitty/delicate situations.
-You know how to teamwork a situation. You know strengths and weaknesses and how to divide and conquer.
-You'll know REALLY QUICKLY if you're actually a good match (otherwise, you'll get sick of seeing each other so much).
-You always know when someone has to work late?

The bad:
-We were always bitching about work and that's just an ugly cycle.
-I turned down a promotion at one point because I would have been managing him.
-Our team was young, so there's was loads of gossip about us/our relationship.

Will say this: I recently had an opportunity to move onto his current team in my pretty much a dream role. After we discussed it, I turned it down. Too many financial eggs in that basket, in my opinion. I'd be willing to start a business with him and work side by side, but for as long as we work for The Man, I'd like to keep it separate.

act01

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 655
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: SO and Co-worker
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2014, 02:54:40 PM »
-I turned down a promotion at one point because I would have been managing him.
This is a great point about promotions. I've turned down gigs that I would have loved to do because I didn't want to step on DH's toes. It's also tough when there's an issue at work (like if you or SO made a mistake), especially if co-workers or managers need to talk you about it (for work reasons).

There also can be this weird cross between personal/professional with co-workers (or colleagues in the field). I'm very careful about my professional reputation (and what I share with certain people), but DH is chummy with everyone and shares more openly about himself and us. I've also heard bad personal stories about my co-workers (that affected my view of them professionally) because of personal experiences that my husband has had with them (think Bachelor parties, etc). I've gone into new jobs and had someone I didn't know say, "Oh, you're that guy's wife!"

Seņora Savings

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 179
  • Age: 34
Re: SO and Co-worker
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2014, 04:04:22 PM »
We teach at the same school.  It's great!  We work in the same dept and teach some of the same classes but we don't really have to work together in the traditional sense.  If we disagree on something I'll do it my way and he'll do it his way.  I love it.  It's pretty common at my school (4 couples) so that may make things smoother.

The downsides:
It was REALLY awkward when he was getting hired.  But that's because my boss is really awkward.
Being on the same schedule means we're both too busy and stressed to function at the same time.
It can be hard to stop talking about work.

Zarya

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 36
Re: SO and Co-worker
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2014, 02:45:25 PM »
We've been together for 24 years but didn't work together until starting a business with another partner in 2006. This phase of our relationship has had its ups and downs. The biggest negatives for me are 1) that the stress of facing deadlines and challenging work expectations extend into our home life (we also work from home in this business) and 2) the other person's relative weaknesses as a business partner (unwillingness to delegate, lateness, etc.) may be more annoying when they are things you already put up with in private life together. We get along well and function well as a team so we don't regret going into business together, but it certainly takes a level of emotional control and good communication that is more challenging than simply being married and running a household together. At least in our case.

-Z