Is office romance ever a good idea?
10 August 2018 KAYA VOICES
By Pretty Mashinini
The workplace is not the most ideal place to pursue an intimate relationship, neither is going into a relationship with a close co-worker but what happens when you are unable to duck cupid’s arrow?
You see this person every day of the week, there’s a natural chemistry. You both have similar goals and that’s enough to ignite a spark and start an office romance between the both of you. In 2013 a SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) survey, it was found that 42 percent of companies had developed a formal, written office romance policy. 99 percent of employers that have a romance policy in place, state that relationships between supervisors and staff members are not allowed.
In early SHRM surveys, 43 percent of HR staff said that they had experienced romances in their workplaces, 55 percent of the HR staff surveyed said marriage is the most likely outcome of office romances.
An office romance, like other relationships, requires ground rules
It’s important to look at both the good and the bad before you enter a relationship with your colleague. Office romances are usually at the centre of office gossips. Wouldn’t it be great to be known for your work and not whom you are dating?
Separate business and personal, and treat your partner like any other colleague once you enter the work premises, nothing more. In some companies, public displays of affection are prohibited as they would make the rest of your colleagues feel awkward, like they should give you privacy.
Keep it private, your peers don’t need to know about the relationship but if things get serious between you and your partner, HR would need to be notified, depending on the romance policy your organisation has put in place.
Have a plan B. Ask your self, should the relationship end on bad terms, would you be able to be civil and professional despite seeing your former lover every day? If not you would need to consider asking for a transfer or finding a new job altogether.
People interact and relationships are bound to happen. It is essential that a company has policies and boundaries in regards to office romance so that personal issues are not brought into the office and it is the couple’s responsibility to adhere to the rules.
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