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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Work Relationships

How to Tell Your Co-workers Their PDA's Making You Uncomfortable

co-workers cuddling courtesy Monty Rakusen/Getty Images

They just can’t seem to keep their hands off each other. On your way to the restroom, in the hallway outside the elevator, the “it” office couple is at it again. It’s completely inappropriate and not something you should have to deal with while you’re going about trying to do your job!

You want to tell them to just get a room, already. As it is, god only knows what’s going on behind closed office doors! You’re at work, not the corner of a dark bar.

How to Put an End to This...if You Hate Confrontation

Let’s assume the office romance isn’t against the rules—the incessant PDA certainly should be. Have you tried a deep throat-clearing, a frustrated sigh, or a loud, “Excuse me,” as you make your way past where they’re not-so-secretly making out? These are all subtle yet often effective ways for alerting people that their behavior’s unseemly.

How to Put an End to This...if Subtle Hints Don’t Work

If no amount of throat-clearing works, try a light-hearted approach in an email addressed to both parties:

Hi [Name] and [Name],

I think it’s great that you two found each other amidst the spreadsheet and content marketing stats! If only we could all be so lucky. That said, I’ve heard some unpleasant murmurings from some senior-level people who think it’s a bit much, so you might want to tone it down a tad while we’re all stuck in the office, that way no one gets the wrong idea.

Figured I’d want to know if I were in your shoes, so I hope you don’t think I’m overstepping!

[Your Name]

It’s as awkward as these exchanges come, I know, and more power to you if you straight up tell them that you personally find their behavior unacceptable. Assuming that’s not the approach you’re willing to take, remember that your little white lie may not even be false. If you’re annoyed as heck, chances are, you’re not the only one who’s had it with these two.

There’s a reason communication skills are listed on practically every job description. Knowing how to talk to your colleagues is paramount. This is true whether you’re discussing a brief, a new initiative, or how to best delegate a large-scale project—and it's equally true when you’re forced to navigate those awkward workplace issues like this one.

So tell me on Twitter: What is your most frustrating office issue? If enough people have the same one, I just might tackle it!

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