Thursday, September 6, 2007

Office Romance = New Job For Someone?

We've all seen it in basically every company where we have ever worked. It's office romance and almost impossible to hide - and we can usually see it coming from miles away.

I've seen two single people get together, which is usually the story you like to hear, and I've seen two people who are already married divorce and get together, which is much more unpredictable and typically involves much more talk around the "water cooler".

I was reading through CNN and ran across this article by Jocelyn Voo titled, "How to handle an office romance".

Check out these statistics..."Forty-three percent of workers in the United States say they've dated a fellow employee; of those, 34 percent reported getting hitched, according to a 2006 survey on office romance by".

I really didn't expect the percentages to be so high so there must be more of this going on than I'm aware of - I guess it's because I work in HR.

Here are some pointers mentioned in the article and I'll elaborate on each of them.

1. Think before you speak
You two must get together, discuss, and agree when or even if you are going to tell anyone at work about your relationship. Since this is usually early in the relationship I'll call this a DFR (define the relationship) - this is what we called it when I was growing up.

2. Be professional
This is going to be especially important if either one of you report to the other. You cannot let your relationship impact or affect how you make decisions at work - especially when it comes to type of work assigned, workload, salary increases, and bonuses. Plus, if you're still trying to keep this relationship a secret, any noticeable favoritism in these areas will get people talking.

3. Know the rules
What does your company have to say about relationships with others at work - especially those between boss and subordinate? Do you both need to start reviewing the job postings to see if either one of you can transfer to another opportunity within the company? Just because there may not be a policy doesn't mean you don't need to look internally or externally for something else - it really all depends on where this relationship is going.

4. Be subtle
Please watch the pda (personal display of affection)! No one wants to see the two of you sneaking around the office to get a little "alone time" Enough said...

5. Weigh the risks
Yes, there are risks involved with office romance. What happens if this relationship doesn't work out? Did it end well where the two of you are still "friends" or was it a nightmare ending? If the two of you still have to see each other after a bad ending the both of you will probably be miserable - especially if you work together or one for another. My take is that if it ends badly then one or both of you may need to look to another department or company for employment.

For you "The Office" fans out there check out this clip of Jim and Pam...


Anita said...

Thanks for visiting my blog and letting me know you've also written about this subject. Glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks this issue should be discussed not just around Valentine's Day! I'm interested to see if anyone has had personal experience at work with the "love contracts" I mention...

Anita Bruzzese