Thursday, January 31, 2013

How To Date Someone You Work With

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Once deemed extremely taboo in the workplace, dating between coworkers is no longer swept under the rug as it used to be. This can be attributed to the fact that many companies have enacted policies to specifically address the proper means of handling such romances, and, if handled in a professional and appropriate manner, these interoffice relationships may not cause friction and lack of productivity amongst coworkers. Let us not forget, Barack and Michelle met on the job, so it may not be as bad of a look as some may believe it to be.

A 2012 CareerBuilder survey found nearly 38% percent of workers have had at least one interoffice romance at one point of their career, although, according to Forbes Magazine, competing company Vault.com found nearly 59% percent of workers surveyed admitted to having a workplace relationship. Of those who dated at work, CareerBuilder found that, like the Obamas, 31 % said their office romances wound up leading to marriage. With numbers like this, companies could no longer turn a blind eye to secretive dalliances of employees.


The most common corporate policy addressing interoffice relationships deals specifically with romances between executives/managers and employees. Due to possible sexual harassment claims against a company and/or and executive or manager, many company policies require employees and managers to disclose their consensual relationship to Human Resources, and some companies have even gone as far as requiring said employees and supervisors to sign “Love Contracts” waiving liability of sexual harassment of the company.

As a Love Contract may be deemed a bit excessive, most human resource departments only take up the task of keeping employees and executives apprised of guidelines of how to deal with interoffice relationships if they become a distraction and hinder the peace and productivity of an office environment.

I have friends who have met their significant others at work, and a few who have gotten married, started families and continue to work with their coworker spouse. As with any new relationship, it is important to be cognizant of personality compatibility and weigh the pros and cons of dating someone, however, when dating may affect your work environment, it is most important to adhere to company policy and plain old common sense to keep business and personal separate.

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10 comments:

  1. hmmmm... Nice write up.
    www.odulowo.blogspot.com

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  2. DID THIS SOME YEARS AGO...IT DIDN'T LAST BECAUSE OF OFFICE GOSSIP...WE STILL LOVE EACH OTHER VERY MUCH BUT HAVE MOVED ON TO BEING GREAT FRIENDS...

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    1. Yes! I think that gossip thingy will always be there. Especially in our society.

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  3. Love relationships in offices have become very common and like you said, a number of them have gone ahead to seal their affairs with taking marital vows. The only thing is that, some companies have policies in place that would require one of the couple to resign their appointment when they eventually get married. At some times, the gossip becomes so hot that the spouses end up in trouble bcos too many close eyes see what they do.

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    Replies
    1. Oh! resign while your spouse continues to work there? Na wao.

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  4. Hmm... Pros and cons like you say Myne but I feel like in most cases, there are more cons than pros.

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  5. Nice article, it works for some, not all.

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  6. I think the policy in most Nigerian private organization is that one of the couple resigns if it eventually leads to marriage...not sure if still adhere strictly to this.

    The bad blood that usually arise from failed/broken relations usually affects productivity which could have been avoided...dating in the office is surely one risky business.

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    1. I observed that policy in Nigeria too, and I felt it was quite unfair. Now here in the UK couples meet, marry and work together in same company. Gossip will always abound but if productivity isnt affected I dont see why it isn't okay.

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  7. Interesting. Although it is frowned upon by most organisations in Nigeria, couples have found ways to make it work out for them. Truth is, most young people spend longer times at work, getting to work early and closing late and it is only natural to find love in the arms of the ones you see more often.

    I know a couple that dated for about 2years in the same company and worse still same department and guess what, no one knew for over a year. By the time a few people knew about it, they were already planning their wedding. I think it worked out well for them because there was secrecy that reduced the pressure.

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