Do’s and Don’ts of Workplace Romances

Do’s and Don’ts of Workplace Romances

We spend a lot of time with our work colleagues, so it is inevitable that, on occasions, relationships between work colleagues will be formed. A 2013 study suggested that romances which start at work are more likely to result in a marriage than if the couple met in a bar, or on holiday, for example. It has also been reported that one third of UK workers have had a sexual relationship with a colleague.

A workplace relationship may also arise if, for example, you become aware of a vacancy at your partner’s place of work that you fancy doing.

Things to be aware of if you are involved in a workplace relationship include:

  • TRY NOT TO ENGAGE IN PUBLIC SHOWS OF AFFECTION IN THE OPEN OFFICE – THIS COULD MAKE YOUR COLLEAGUES FEEL JEALOUS AND RESENTFUL TOWARDS YOU
  • TRY VERY HARD TO AVOID HAVING DOMESTIC ROWS IN FRONT OF YOUR COLLEAGUES
  • DON’T WRITE OVERLY ENDEARING EMAILS TO YOUR PARTNER – YOUR COMPANY MIGHT BE SCREENING THE EMAILS YOU SEND FROM YOUR WORK ADDRESS, AND IT’S ALSO FAR FROM UNCOMMON FOR SOMEONE TO SEND A WORK EMAIL TO THE WRONG PEOPLE
  • DON’T STOP SOCIALISING WITH ALL THE COLLEAGUES YOU USUALLY HAVE LUNCH WITH, OR THAT YOU MIGHT MEET FOR AFTER WORK DRINKS. JUST BECAUSE YOU BECOME ROMANTICALLY ATTACHED TO ONE PARTICULAR COLLEAGUE DOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD STOP INTERACTING SOCIALLY WITH EVERYONE ELSE
  • REMEMBER THAT, ALTHOUGH ANY ATTEMPT BY YOUR EMPLOYER TO OUTLAW A RELATIONSHIP ENTIRELY COULD BREACH HUMAN RIGHTS LAW, YOUR COMPANY MAY HAVE ITS OWN INTERNAL POLICY ON THIS ISSUE. YOU WILL NEED TO RESPECT WHATEVER THIS POLICY SAYS. FOR EXAMPLE, IF A COMPANY BECOMES AWARE THAT AN EMPLOYEE IS DATING THEIR BOSS, OR ANY OTHER CONFLICT OF INTEREST MIGHT ARISE, IT MAY WANT TO MOVE ONE OR BOTH PEOPLE TO A DIFFERENT ROLE, OR CHANGE THE REPORTING LINE OR MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE
  • CONSIDER THAT YOU DON’T NEED TO TELL ANYONE ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP IF YOU DON’T WANT TO, UNLESS YOUR COMPANY’S WORKPLACE RELATIONSHIPS POLICY DEMANDS THAT YOU TELL SOMEONE, SUCH AS YOUR BOSS OR AN HR REPRESENTATIVE. HOWEVER, IF YOU ARE REQUIRED TO DISCLOSE A RELATIONSHIP AND YOU FAIL TO DO SO, YOU COULD BE SUBJECT TO DISCIPLINARY ACTION
  • REMEMBER THAT IF YOUR RELATIONSHIP ENDS, YOU WILL STILL NEED TO WORK WITH ONE ANOTHER DAY-TO-DAY

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