The Office Romance
From a flirty email to a full blown affair, workplace romances are a potential headache waiting to happen for many businesses.
Office affairs are on the rise with work socials, business trips away and the always eventful Christmas party providing the necessary ammunition for such a relationship to ignite. As the work life balance continues to lean on the work side and individuals becoming increasingly career driven, for many, the office can often be the main way of meeting new people.
If managed well, a successful office relationship can provide little impact on a companyΓÇÖs daily business and couples can be encouraged to work effectively together. Concerns surrounding “jealousy and favoritism” can arise, but if the relationship is out in the open this can be managed. Many organisations will allow for office relationships, but require it to be declared.
It’s when a relationship sours that the biggest challenge arises. Emotional breakups between colleagues can lead to “favoritism or discrimination” and affairs involving differing levels of seniority only add to the complexity. Ex-partners sharing the same office space can upset the team dynamic, “affecting morale and productivity”. Managing this can be extremely tricky and great care should be taken to avoid any resulting issues of “harassment or victimistation”, anything that could culminate in legal proceedings.
While romance in the workplace is nothing new, according to HR Magazine it’s on the rise with “about 20% of married couples” now meeting at work. Recent headlines of failed relationships involving high profile employees from some companies have caused embarrassment and no doubt costly repercussions. Companies need to visibly communicate their stance on the office relationships so that all employees are aware of company procedure.
As of course, here at officebroker.com, being the innocent people that we are, none of the above appliesΓÇª