Valentines Day on the Job: How to Make Office Romance Work!

It’s that time again! The day that puts fear in the hearts of human resources pros—Valentine’s Day. Tips on how to make an office romance work!

Valentines Day! Time for an office romance?
(Photo credit: stevendepolo)

With hearts, candy, flowers and love, once again office romances are a hot topic for human resources. The extra difficulty is the fact that office romances have become more commonplace; one study found that, at one time or another, nearly 70 percent of employees had a romantic relationship at work.

No matter what size company, workplace romances can cause problems. For one, if the relationship goes sour, it can result in emotional distress for not only the employees directly involved, but also a reduction in workplace productivity, which directly impacts business.

There will always be risks in office romances. On the other hand, many happy relationships have come as a result of relationships beginning at work. Happy couples working together could have positive benefits like increased creativity, better performances and higher incentives.

It all goes to show, you just never know.

An office romance doesn’t have to be a problem, hurt a career, or even cause stress. Simply follow these ten tips:

  • Be Discrete In Public

Just because your supervisors and co-workers are aware of your budding romance, that doesn’t give you permission to be lovey-dovey around them. Keep the

  • Don’t Talk About It At Work

In an office, news travels incredibly fast. Once you say something to friends or co-workers, it is often out of your control. The last thing you need is to waste the time answering a gossip that changes shape from every mouth to every other ear. With successful office romances, the less said, the better.

  • Make Sure You Follow The Rules

Many human resources departments will have clear guidelines about relationships at work, often they are written in an employee handbook. If you are not sure of your company’s policy, find out!

  • Do Not Keep It A Secret

If someone asks, be honest. If no one asks, don’t bring it up first, but always discuss it with your supervisor or human resources department. Being deceitful about your office romance will not help your career, or your partner’s. It will make you seem untrustworthy, doing much more harm than good!

  • Is it Time to Change Jobs?

Often a workplace romance boils down to a decision—the relationship or the job. If you (or your partner) are not entirely satisfied at work, the time may be to start looking for other opportunities.

  • Is The Relationship Going To Last?

This is the first question you must ask yourself; is it only a couple dates, or will it lead to something more serious? At work, a harmless affair is never actually harmless, is it worth ruining your career?

  • Customers Are Off Limits!

Imagine yourself as a client and two employees have what appears to be an intensely personal quarrel in front of you. Uncomfortable does not begin to explain how you would feel! Clients need never know all the details of your personal life.

  • Always Be Professional

Nobody likes to see dirty laundry aired out at work. That could be the situation with co-workers when you let a personal relationship at work takes over. Be appropriate and never get involved with your partner’s other work-based relationships.

  • Sexual Harassment or Just Flirting?

When the connection is in the first stages, is the best time to identify what might be the difference between harmless flirting and unwanted sexual contact. Avoid an unpleasant visit from your human resources person. If affections seem to be one-sided, that could be a fast track to a sexual harassment lawsuit.

  • Never, Ever Sleep With A Direct Supervisor

If you sleep with your boss, you are undoubtedly asking for trouble. Employee-supervisor romances can be one of the most disruptive work situations, causing unhappiness among your co-workers and other members of management. Just don’t do it! The same goes for anyone you supervise directly. The best advice is to stop it now, or if you are truly serious about the relationship, start looking for another job.


Published by @philammann

Put. That coffee. Down. Writer/editor/whatever it takes. @margaretj13 is my (much) better half. Website: Email: Twitter: @PhilAmmann

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