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Many people live at work. The only time you are at home on a week day, is to get some sleep… which is usually in the night. Night is your unconscious time, you do not meet people, you lie in your bed and drown out the consciousness of your arena, till you are sound asleep. The next waking hour, you are at work where you spend not less than 8 hours. If you have a deadline that day, you add extra 2 hours to meet up, and then you spend an average of another 2 hours stuck in traffic, after which night cometh and you hit the bed again. That’s the cycle.

Your work environment is a totally different community where you spend most of your conscious time. By this, I mean, it’s day time and you are alert physically, mentally and of course emotionally. You have a 9-5 job, all of 5 days out of 7. Your office is practically where you live.

So you will bond with people… people of different build and personality. You eventually, find that colleague that gets you at work. You two start off bouncing ideas during team work, sharing jokes and understanding frustrations with a boss. You exchange advice; provide emotional support for each other during challenging times. When it comes to discussing internal politics and releasing work-related tension, this colleague is your buddy. God helps you the person described above is the opposite sex. He/she (un)consciously becomes yourOffice boo.

Don’t get me wrong—this does not mean you are romantically involved with him/her. Your relationship is unassuming and platonic. Research shows that employees will devote more time to their work and go the extra mile if they have close ties on the job. People work hours in close quarter with the opposite sex so there is a high chance emotions would sieve through. In an ideal work environment, two close colleagues (office boos) will complement one another’s skill and ability in the workplace, consequently leading to a successful and productive team. Although, the relationship is not intimate, there is however, a thin line between this friendship and intimacy. If you have a real boo, then you have to be worried about crossing that line.

There are, however, 4 ground rules to maintaining the boo at home and the one at work so you do not cross the line to the unforgivable.

Set a Boundary
A healthy office boo relationship is a situation between two colleagues who would never let their friendship venture into an inappropriate space and understand that fine line. How do you set boundaries? Avoid getting all personal with office boo. Do not share personal information about yourself with office boo. I repeat, do not share your personal info with Office boo, especially private details of your relationship or marriage. If he/she shares personal information with you, tell your real boo about it so you don’t sow secret seeds that your real boo is not aware of.

Open Up
Tell your real boo everything. Be upfront and honest about the closeness with your office boo. Also make sure your office boo understands the bond in your real relationship so he/she does not get ideas. If it gets to a point where you two are really close, introduce your office boo to your real boo so office boo relationship isn’t exclusive. That way, there will be no room for some shady feelings to spring up.

Avoid Enclosed Spots
Do not be alone in suggestive spots with your office boo. Remember, romantic relationships come out of recreational activities and even intimate conversations. The spots you choose to be with someone, has a huge influence on the outcome of the meeting. Don’t go to a club with office boo. Do not go to the movies to watch “The Ugly Truth” with office boo… except of course you want to cross the line. Also, avoid meeting for drinks with office boo. Do not drink with him/her. It is totally against the rule. When you drink, boundaries get blurred.

Open Communication
Communication is everything. The how and what you communicate is very important. Avoid constantly talking about your office boo with your Real boo. Don’t overdo it. You go on and on about working with your office boo (even when you are being unassuming), real boo might start getting suspicious. When you are at work, try to keep the mood light and happy around your office boo so that drama at home or with your real boo doesn’t bleed in to what should be a professional relationship. Ensure you are communicating with other co-workers and not just your office boo so you two are not perceived as a clique or exclusive.

You obey these rules and you have Real boo Vs Office boo relationship balance.:)