Hooking Up with a Co-worker: Good or Bad Idea?

It’s Happy Hour and you’re out enjoying a relaxing after-work round with some friends from the office, including the smoking-hot new chick from the marketing department. As the two of you flirt a bit, it becomes clear that there’s a hookup in the works, if you’re interested.

Should you, or shouldn’t you? Is it a good or bad idea to hook up with a co-worker? This sounds like a bit of a cop-out, I realize, but the correct answer really is: It depends.

Unfortunately, for one reason or another, hooking up with co-workers often doesn’t work out well. If the hookup goes sour, the sex isn’t good, you turn out to be incompatible personalities, or she gets too clingy, it can make for serious awkwardness in the workplace, or far worse.

That said, co-worker hookups happen all the time, and they don’t always end in disaster. Depending on the particular circumstances, it can work out to be a mutual good time with no negative impact on work.

One important factor is how closely you work with her. If seeing her is a daily occurrence, and there’s no way around that, then it raises the stakes for the hookup, considerably. If things don’t go well and there are lingering hurt feelings or awkwardness, it can create serious problems in the workplace. If you work for a large company, in different departments, etc., then there’s less potential for a hookup-gone-wrong to screw things up for both of you at work.

Another consideration is where you both fall on the org chart, so to speak. It’s a terrible idea to fuck your boss, be it metaphorically or literally, and an even worse idea to fuck people who work for you directly. If you do hook up with a peer from work, it’s best if the two of you are at relatively equal spots on the corporate ladder, and ideally work in completely separate capacities. This will help avoid some of the worst potential fallout.

If you’re considering a workplace romance, that’s a more involved sort of relationship, with a whole different set of potential problems and dynamics; but if you’re just talking about a casual hookup, or maybe a series of them but with an understanding of there being no strings attached, there are certain work circumstances when it might work out fine.

Keep these basic considerations in mind, and maybe you can hook up with that hot chick from marketing, after all.

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