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How falling for the boss can be a disaster in the workplace

An unexpected kiss from the boss on the way home from a work function landed Amanda in hot water.

An unexpected kiss from the boss on the way home from a work function landed Amanda in hot water.

She had a high-level job as an adviser to a government minister and worked in a team of just five people.

"It began as a friendship," she says. "We were both going through some tough times at home and began to confide in each other.

"We would regularly have 'just one drink' after work. One night after a work function he walked me to the train station and kissed me."

Soon Amanda earned a reputation as the boss' favourite as her colleagues noticed the preferential treatment. This didn't sit well with Amanda. Neither did the fact they were both in relationships with other people.

"He began to make declarations of love, indicated he was leaving his wife. I ended up feeling very uncomfortable because deep down I knew that it was a circumstantial relationship. If my partner and I hadn't been having problems it would never have happened."

The relationship lasted three months and ended when Amanda's partner became suspicious and confronted her.

Amanda's advice to anyone tempted to take their relationship with their boss out of the office is simple: don't do it.

"It might be exciting at first, but unless you have other options, you're going to work with that person when the affair has ended and that is incredibly hard," she says.

Getting intimate with your boss can end badly for more than just the two people involved in the relationship, says organisational psychologist and author of Vulture Cultures Leanne Faraday-Brash.

"Anything that causes a falling out with people at work, whether it's from an intimate relationship or not, is going to cause awkwardness at best and loss of productivity and morale at worst," she says. "The relationship may or may not survive but people always want to keep their reputation and credibility intact."

Vanessa Hall was working in a remote mine site in the Northern Territory when her boss, Scott, said he had fallen in love with her. Conscious of what their colleagues would think, they kept the relationship secret for two months.

When the couple came clean, Vanessa says some workmates questioned her motives. "Some people had the perception that I was doing it to increase my position in life, that I was doing it to advance my wealth and career," she says.

It ultimately contributed to the couple's decision to leave the company and move to Brisbane. They married, and six years after meeting have three children.

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