According to research from the Society for Human Resource Management, one-third of adults in the U.S. are in-office romance. But unfortunately, this type of relationship can create a host of problems for not just those involved, but the company as a whole – office relationships might diminish employee satisfaction and office morale, what’s worse, they might lead to one or both partners in the relationship leaving the company.
We spend more than one half of our waking time at work, often with people who share our interests, in addition to this, some social psychologists found that regular exposure to someone increases attraction towards them. So, it should be no surprise that romantic relationships can blossom in the office. But whatever the corporate dating policy is, here is your advice: Try to avoid mixing love and work. Now we have some useful tips and you can also check more information on MyOfficeTricks.
1. Check Company’s Policies
The company’s policies about office relationships vary, cultures are not the same and each one of them has different rules set by the HR. If your company has a policy against office romance, think about it rationally, because they’re in place for a reason. It is probably not worth it, in such a case.
It’s always better if you are aware of the policies by consulting the company handbook on office conduct and reading the company’s harassment policy for more information. Once you know what the policies are, you can do your best to avoid policy violations and should also know what kind of trouble you can get into if you are against them. According to Couple Travel The World, one way to avoid falling into the trap of an office romance is to keep your dating life outside work interesting is through planning fun dates and getaways!
2. Set Your Boundaries
If you’ve already decided not to get into a office relationship. Now, it’s time to figure out how to actually implement that in specific terms and set boundaries for you and your co-workers. For example, never be alone with a person you feel attracted to. Alternatively, never accept an invitation for socializing outside of work from a member you’re interested in. Once established that, you can make it a hard and fast rule.
Establishing what your boundaries are is only the first step. Next, you need to make sure to follow through with them. It is of particular importance to make a boundary clear whenever it comes up, so nobody gets upset or hurt. For instance, if you just don’t want to be alone, invite other co-workers along when someone you’re attracted to invites you. On the other hand, if someone touches one of your boundaries, say, “I appreciate that, but I want to keep my work relationships professional.”
3. Stay Professional at Work
Your friendly nature could be considered encouragement for a romantic relationship, which is especially true for affectionate people. Professional behaviour can discourage advances or control a relationship that shows signs of becoming intimate. Avoid flirting with your co-workers, limit your conversations to work-related subjects and keep all physical contact on a professional level.
You don’t have to be absolutely cold to people in the office. However, you also don’t have to engage in flirting, where you touch a person’s arm, or lean in when you talk to them, especially if you feel attracted to them. Instead, keep your conversations and interactions professional, and if you treat everyone equally with the same respect, you’re less likely to encourage individual romances.
4. Plan for the Worst
By considering every potential outcome – possible break up scenarios, transfer requests, other employers, who is most likely to obtain new employment, how colleagues will be impacted, you can decide if office romance is worth the damage.
For the superiors, this kind of relationship can easily turn to a sexual harassment lawsuit – it only takes one irrational action from a brokenhearted lover for a seemingly innocent situation to require your company attorneys.
For the subordinates, office romance is often a lose-lose situation. Every rewards or recognition they receive will not be respect – whether they are deserved or not – other employees will resent them. And if the couple breaks up, it’ll be almost impossible for the subordinate to stick around.
5. Keep Private Life Private
Believe it or not, keep your private life private helps to develop and maintain good working relationships with your colleagues. If private life have too much of an impact on your job, it will definitely harm perceptions of you at work.
Decide what not to talk about: Think about what things you are not comfortable with or just not interested in discussing with your colleagues, and keep them as mental reminders to yourself.
Use deflecting techniques: Try to avoid saying something like “Sorry, but that’s none of your business”. If you switch the conservation back to your colleague, you will politely avoid their questions without seeming aloof or disinterested.
Cut out personal calls at work: Not only will your colleagues most likely overhear you, but they may ask you about the conversation. Excessive personal calls may also displease your boss and colleagues who think you are not working hard enough.
Be aware of your social media activity: Avoid posting anything openly that could invite questions about your private life. It is recommended to set up multiple social media accounts to keep the two areas of your life separate.
An office romance can be problematic in many ways. It could detract from the quality of your work and create an uncomfortable environment for you and your colleagues. If something goes wrong, it might also lead to disciplinary action from your employers, such as a suspension or the loss of your job. You can prevent the possibility of these things happening if you avoid an entanglement from the start.
The workplace is a professional environment so, no matter who you work with, you’ll want to maintain that professionalism during working hours. If you have your dream job and want to keep it that way, come and utilize the 5 tips above to avoid dangerous consequences for your office tryst and your career.