It is another valentine’s day and a time to share and show love.
So I guess it is a good time to talk about something very interesting- workplace romance
Office romance occurs when two people who work in the same organization starts “seeing” each other.
It is not very difficult to fathom why. After all, we spend an average of 8-9 hours there each day of our life for the next 35 years so it was not surprising when a study showed that the office keeps coming up as the number 1 place people are finding love.
Different examples of people who have found love at work abound but I think the most popular story will remain that of the first US First lady Lawyer- Michelle Obama.
Michelle and Barrack Obama met when they were working together at the Chicago branch of their law firm and eventually got married.
This is just one of the many beautiful romantic stories about office relationships. Not all that glitters is gold. While it is possible for an office romance to end in marriage, actually only about 32% of such actually does and over 69% of people who have engaged in workplace relationship have had to live with the consequence when it failed.
Here are some interesting office workplace statistics
- 40% of workplace population has dated a co-worker
- 18% has had more than twice an office relationship in their career
- 14% of workers have dated their boss while 19% admitted to dating their subordinate.
- 47% of people who work in the hospital industry are likely to date a co-worker
- 37% of people who were dating have to keep their relationship secret.
- 59% of us will date a co-worker at one point or another in our career.
- 7% of a recent survey says there is someone in their office they will to date.
Want to know which of your co-workers is dating each other? You can check out this interesting post
We may not be able to advise if you should date a colleague or not. It is left for you to decide if it is worth it but here are some rules of engagement for workplace romance:
Rule 1: Know the territory where you operate
The first rule of thumb for office romance is to understand your company’s policy regarding interpersonal relationships.
In the past, it was not unusual for companies to frown on workplace relationship but there is now a fundamental shift from the past.
While some companies eg CISCO are not discriminating against any form of interpersonal relationship in their workplace, it is still important that you understand your own company policies and what it says regarding workplace dating and marriage among colleagues.
Most companies frown against interpersonal relationship among colleague due to lots of reasons while others do not either encourage or discourage it.
Rule 2: Do not date your boss or subordinate
Fancy your boss or subordinate? It is a no go area. Dating your boss or subordinate can have it own thrill but the consequences are usually higher.
This is because there is a lot at stake when the relationship crosses the command line. It might result in a career roadblock or can give rise to blackmail should the relationship suddenly end on a back note.
It might also led to gossip when the person you dating gets a career rise or pay rise. Even when it is merited, tongues will wag.
Rule 3: Stay off each other at work
While it might make sense to want to spend some time together when at work especially when you work together on the same project or in the same unit, sneaking behind the office photocopier or behind close doors is forbidden.
Keep display of personal affection to when you meet outside the office. Public display of affection might be frown at by other co-workers and can be a huge distraction.
Stay off each other pathway as much as possible and this includes sending personal information using your official email address.
Rule 5: Know when it is over and out
Like all things either good or bad especially in a relationship, there comes a time when it fizzles out.
Workplace relationship is not immune to the complexity involved in all relationship. Over time, the spark dwindles and everyone moves on. You need to understand this risk and when it is over, please move on.
There usually is not place for crying over spilled milk or taking revenge when it comes to workplace dating and this is why a lot of companies frown on this practice.
Cupid can be funny. You really cannot tell it when and where to shoot its arrow. So follow our rules should you find yourself attracted to a co-worker and oh, by all means, keep it private.
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