Don’t do it!
There are 24 hours in a day. More than ten are spent sleeping, eating, and commuting. Another 10 are spent at work. That leaves less than 4 hours for the rest of our lives.
Our coworkers generally get more of our time than our families and loved ones. They tend to become our “families” and…wait for it…our ”loved ones.”
Oh don’t frown up! It’s common. I see and hear it all the time.
Workplace romances, rendezvous, and stairwell and closet “interactions” abound in the workplace. Many are witnessed and reported. Imagine the numbers that go unreported!
You might want to know what the problem is. “Rue, what’s the big deal?” Well there are at least three significant problems with love workplace style:
1. Breakups – most relationships end. When 2 coworkers end a romantic relationship, they continue the work relationship and boy can that be awkward to say the least!
2. Productivity – for some, working with a significant other is a good thing for everyone – synergistic even! For MOST, though, there’s too much chit-chat and long walks and lunches and coffee breaks and stairwell breaks and loading dock breaks and so on…you see where I’m going.
3. Lawsuits – employers get in trouble sometimes when sexual harassment and retaliation claims come rolling in from either party in the romantic relationship or anyone outside of that relationship that feels disenfranchised as a result of the awkward relationship.
So what do we do?
- Make a rule for yourself that you will not personally cross that proverbial line.
- Have employees sign “romance/love contracts,” to reduce potential legal trouble.
- Make for yourself and encourage for others time for families and friends outside of the workplace.