Office or workplace romance exists when two members of a same organization develop a romantic relationship. This is often seen as a damage to moral and productivity in the workplace. Co-workers can get uncomfortable in the vicinity of these love birds. And situation can get more complicated when one or both the partners involved are married or in relation outside the workplace. However, few employers may also see office romance as a beneficial one as they feel it increases the productivity of those involved in order to prove themselves, the positive attitude that romance creates in them make them more innovative and creative, it can also soften work-related personality conflicts and improve team work and co-operation.
Office romance can be either hierarchal or lateral. Hierarchal relationships are those that involve employees at different levels in organization, like an employee and reporting manager. While, later relationships are those that involve employees of same level, for example two managers of different departments.
Statistics indicate that four out of 10 employees have been involved in office romance at least once in their lifetime. Few reasons for this high number is there are more singles in workplace these days, ample time of day is spent in office, with co-workers there is lot of similarity and proximity as well as plenty to talk about.
Steps to an enjoyable and preferably secret office romance:
- If you have fallen for someone in your workplace, try to communicate with the person in a friendly manner. Make sure you are not using your official email/phone for this purpose. Communication in stealth helps keep your feelings under cover.
- Being professional helps in keeping gossips at bay. So, in your 9-5 job focus on work. Avoid intimate conversations, lingering around and touching each other in work hours.
- Well, as much as we say avoid being close to each other, we understand it is difficult. So arrange for your private time. Meet at a place which is isolated like an empty staircase. Make sure if you are caught, you have a story to say as to how coincidentally you got there. Also, arrange for a different location next time.
- And of course do not leave any evidence. No lipstick marks, no love bites and any other physical evidence of your deeds. Avoid leaving your private inbox open or sending emails from official email ids.
- Seek your manager’s permission if you are planning to take long breaks, just to make sure the unwanted gossips are tackled before it start.
- Do not have a public display of your affection. Hugs, kisses and getting lost in each other’s eye is better suited for private places than a work place.
We did give you few tips on how to start and continue with an office romance. Now let us chalk down few more dos and don’ts of office romance:
- Leave him/her if married since such kind of romances lead to more gossips, generally do not head anywhere and cause depressions and lose of concentration in work as well as undesired consequences.
- Keep an air of mystery. If you fancy someone it is ok to steal few glances or brush past each other, but hovering over each other’s desk can be perceived as waste of time.
- Anticipate response before you put your foot ahead. A meek smile or a friendly hi-fi does not mean the person is in love with you. Approaching such an individual can cause embarrassment.
- Think before you confide in your colleague. Share your romantic story only if you feel your co-worker can keep your secret and does not go gossiping around.
- Beware before indulging in physical activity in your office premises. CCTV cameras can pose problems. Leave your passion to after-hours.
- Beware of your company’s policies. Though there is no specific law or policy against office romance, they are generally frowned upon and cause problems in your career growth. You may also have to face misconduct allegations if caught in compromising positions. Spending too much time with each other or outside office can lead to further complications and warning from seniors.
- In case you have breakup handle it tactfully. Weeping uncontrollably in office and seeking shoulders to cry on would just lead to more issues. Stop your emotions from showing up and discuss your issues only with your friends preferably outside office hours.
And it is better to make sure you are sharing a healthy relation with your partner. A relation involving distrust, extra-marital affairs and those which were started for personal growth can lead to depressions and mental breakdowns. Make sure you are risking your career, friends and reputation for someone worth it.