The workplace still remains one of the primary ways in which people develop romantic relationships. Given the number of hours spent at work and the close working quarters with possible partners, it would be hard not to develop such relationships. However, it is really not a good idea.
Even in the best of times, the workplace is a difficult place to manage and cultivate a relationship without the added risk and stress of losing your job or being accused of improper influence, favoritism or even sexual harassment. Most companies today have “no fraternization” policies that make it a terminable offense to date a co-worker, particularly if one of the parties in the relationship has supervisory authority over the other.
Without throwing cold water on passion, if you are interested in developing a work place relationship you and your partner need to consider and discuss a few concerns before moving forward. What is the company policy on fraternization (i.e., does it require disclosure, are such relationships completely taboo, etc.)? How will your colleagues react if they find out (i.e., will such a relationship engender jealousy among your colleagues)? How closely do you work with your prospective partner? How will you really handle the situation if the relationship ends?
While work places romances will never be tamed, it would be a shame to lose one’s position and/or career over it.