IT’S that time of the year again when every single woman asks – is the Christmas party the right time to hit on the hot guy at the office?

Life if full of curly questions for the unpaired and lust-driven.

Muscles, good looks, dazzling smile, cute butt… all those things you try not to notice the rest of the year suddenly become seductively apparent over free alcohol, salt and vinegar crisps and bad sausage rolls.

You both find yourselves reaching for the saveloys – awkward – at the same time; or you catch his eye and he gives you a wink, or the come on, after he’s had a couple of beers.

You discover you have things in common – what, you like tennis/Trivial Pursuit/Brooklyn 99 too? No way! He invites you to take a closer look at the first aid room or the stationery supply office.

It all seems meant to be, kind of.

But stop! It’s not too late to spare yourself months of cringeworthy embarrassment or stomach-churning heartache. What am I talking about? I’m talking about having to see this guy in the office, every single day of your working life, after you’ve broken up, until one of you leaves the company or dies.

Running into him in the lunch room  when you’re both reaching for a kitchen knife – awkward; seeing him yakking it up with the cute office junior – barf; listening to another one of his boring jokes – oh my God; queueing behind him at the photocopier – you thought his butt was cute, humph!

Despite these drawbacks, a survey of American professionals by found that more than half had taken part in an office romance.

Forty two per cent said they had an ongoing, casual relationship with a co-worker; 36 per cent said they’d had a “random office hook-up;” 29 per cent had been in a serious, long-term relationship; and 16 per cent had met their spouse or partner at work.

Did you read that last statistic? That means you have an 84 per cent chance of it tanking before you get a commitment.

Sure, it may seem tempting, especially after one too many chardonnays. But you’ve been warned.

Helen Hawkes

Helen Hawkes is a journalist who writes compelling print and digital content across business and finance, health and lifestyle, real estate and interiors. Her content clients have ranged from American Express and the University of NSW to Maserati and 9Honey. She is fluent in cross-platform storytelling, brand tone of voice, content strategy and stakeholder management.