Happy Valentines… the do’s and don’ts of office romance…

Today is the 14th February, ring any bells?  Of course, it’s Valentines, the day where love is all around us – well commercially anyway!! and yes I’m sure I will be inundated with cards, chocolates and flowers, well I can dream!!

However, is it ever a good thing when it’s in the office?

Clearly given the amount of time we spend at work, it is no surprise that things happen.. 51% of working professionals have participated in some kind of workplace relationship, with 10% meeting their spouse at work.

So what are the do’s and don’ts of relationships that don’t upset the rest of the team or end in your unemployment?

If he or she is married, don’t embark on a relationship, exciting it maybe, but you don’t want to run the risk of wife/husband turning up at the office looking for answers, remember when families etc are involved there will be far reaching consequences.

Emails – I would think very carefully before sending anything incriminating, all it takes is to hit the wrong key and the whole company will know about your oh so “secret” relationship! Also, remember it is likely that your company can access your emails anyway, so always think with your head.

PDA’s or public displays of affection, your colleagues won’t want to witness this, especially after lunch!! you must remember to remain professional at all times, and as for sex in the workplace, this could be grounds for instant dismissal so best save the passion for after hours.

Don’t be a blatant flirt, discretion is the key, a stolen glance is more enticing that draping yourself over someone’s desk and remember people are always watching.  So to avoid malicious comments keep your appearance in check, keep your look professional.

If things do start to get serious, consider whether it would be better for both your relationship or your job if one of you were to move on before you are not given the choice or it begins to interfere with the office equilibrium.  Also, consider the worse case scenario, what happens if it all goes wrong, you still need to act professionally and work in the same office, so no uncontrollable crying or planning a Lorena Bobbit style revenge, make sure that you have someone to talk it through with after work, friends or family being a good start.

How you handle things as an employer can also have a big impact.  So creating clear, legal and ethical policies will guide your employees and help develop the running of a harmonious workplace.  Let employees know that you expect office romances or relationships etc. to be kept separate from the work environment and don’t be afraid to spell out the consequences of any “romantic” relationship that is negatively impacting on your business or workplace.

If you would like to discuss any potential issues, give HR Revolution a call for a confidential chat and ensure that no situation ever turns into an HR disaster.   +44 203 538 5311 or email info@hrrevolution.co.uk

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