Quick backstory: We didn't meet on the job — we were dating for almost four years before we started working together (which, by the way, wasn't planned … But for about 11 months, we sat three cubes apart from one another and kept our relationship under wraps. If you decide it My situation was unique because we were already a couple before we started working together — but generally that isn't the case, and Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of "Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job," suggests you try being friends inside and outside the office before you make any moves.
You and your new partner need to agree on some ground rules and come up with a plan for how you will keep it professional and stay within written or unwritten rules.
"What will be your plan 'B' if the heat is on from a supervisor, from gossip, or if things go awry? "You may have the burden of overcompensating with professionalism and keeping an artificial distance, which can be an awkward strain," says Taylor.
"Better to overcompensate than to constantly test the limits of workplace etiquette while hoping for the best." Focus on work and do your job — especially if you want to mitigate gossip.
People sometimes act differently at work than they do in their personal life.
Before you risk hurting your reputation at work, find out if this person is someone you'd want to spend weekends with.
Check the company handbook to find out if there are any policies related to interoffice relationships.
Even if there are no explicit policies against it, find out how upper management feels about office romances.
If they're common and happen in your workplace all the time, great. No need to send a blast email with "the news" of you and your cube-mate's new relationship.
People either don't care, will think it's obnoxious or inappropriate, or will get jealous. Once you have a sense that this might have a future, talk to your partner and decide how and when you want to disclose your relationships to your colleagues.
If the rumor mill goes into high gear, that might be the right time.
If nobody seems to notice, there's no reason to share.