Leona Farley, 21 years old
Tyler and I had been dating for almost four years before we started working together which, by the way, wasn't planned … long story for another time. But for about 11 months, we sat three cubes apart from one another and kept our relationship under wraps. Those are questions we're frequently asked when we tell people the story of our office romance. The truth is, office romances can be very tricky and generally not interoffice dating. But they happen all the time, and when they do, there are three possible outcomes: The relationship turns sour and your reputation and career take a beating; it ends, but you're both mature and cordial and don't let the breakup affect your work; or things work out. Remember that coworker I dated? We're approaching our fourth wedding anniversary. It's up to you to figure out whether pursuing an office relationship is worth the possible consequences, good and bad.
What's love got to do with it? Quite a lot, actually. To answer Tina Turner's proverbial question, current research on workplace romance was reviewed. If it's just about sex, a dalliance, an extramarital affair, or a relationship to move an individual up the career ladder, co-workers and companies tend to frown on love relationships in the office. If a couple is genuinely serious about dating and building a relationship, popular opinion is more favorable. Her findings indicated that most respondents do not mind seeing a romance develop between two unmarried colleagues. However, they do object to relationships interoffice dating which one or both co-workers are married to someone else, and they also oppose romances when the relationship is between a supervisor and a direct report. Andrea C.
If you own a company, chances are you've had to decide and at times reassess whether to allow consensual dating and romantic relationships among your employees -- or, in legalese, whether and to what extent to adopt an office "non-fraternization" policy. Although there are no laws which outright prohibit interoffice relationships, as shown in the news of late, they carry obvious risks , such as:. Lastly, when romantic relationships fail and let's not kid ourselves -- they usually do , there is the possibility one or both participants may view the once blissful and consensual detente through a lens of revisionist history -- fertile ground for headline-grabbing and costly sex harassment litigation. On the other hand, many view workplace relationships as an inevitable byproduct of today's interconnected world.
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The dating or fraternization policy adopted by an organization reflects the culture of the organization. Employee-oriented, forward-thinking workplaces recognize that one of the places that employees meet their eventual spouse or partner is at work. But, relationships can also go awry and result in friction and conflict at work. It can affect the team, the department, and even the mood of the organization when stress permeates the air. The key to a fraternization policy is to minimize the impact of the things that can go wrong in the workplace while maximizing the powerfully positive aspects of employee relationships. You also want to identify the relationships that are forbidden because of their potential impact at work. As with any policy, you should develop the policy for the good of the working relationships in a whole group of employees. Don't put a policy in place interoffice dating control the behavior of a few employees whose behavior is out of line. It's worth noting that the consequence of a too-restrictive policy is that fraternization policies that prohibit even friendships and associations outside of work cause employees to deceive and cover-up. They also encourage gossipjob dissatisfaction, and low morale.
It's inevitable--at some point, working closely together will inspire your employees to take things to another level, be it friendship or dating. It's best interoffice dating create a workplace dating policy before you have to deal with any broken relationships. Schedule a meeting with the department heads, human resources manager and anyone else who makes company decisions. These are the people who should be involved in creating a workplace dating policy, as they are the ones who work with employees every day. Discuss recent incidents.
Every company needs to consider a policy on workplace dating. Without a clear policy, an office relationship can lead to charges of sexual harassment and legal consequences for the employer. Although some companies chose to have no policy on dating, that leaves them open to potential liability if a supervisor is shown to have sexually harassed a subordinate, for example, by giving a poor performance review to a former partner. To avoid this, companies institute various types of dating policy. No-dating policies generally ban dating between a supervisor and their subordinate. Employment attorney Anna Cohen, writing in HR Hero Online, suggests that no-dating policies can be problematic, as it is difficult to define exactly the type of behavior that will be restricted. For example, in the case of Ellis v.