Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Office Romance

From experience I can say that the possibility of having to deal with office romance can easily top the list of issues that a manager fears most, alongside with demotions, body odor and giving negative feedback. Sometimes the work affairs are secret, sometimes they are out in the open. The views on such behavior differ, but most of my friends with an Industrial Psychology degree coincide in believing that "a healthy dose of office romance is beneficial to the productivity of the work force. Excessive work affairs harm normal functioning of the organization".

If you have never observed romantic behavior in the office, probably you should look again, because the Vault research proves that it is a common practice in the majority of cases:
Where lies the line between "tolerate it" and "this must stop" I cannot really say since all will depend on a situation. Many companies have a clause in their internal rules that family members (including romantic partners" cannot be in the same line of subordination, but all that is paper stuff and real life is much more difficult to manage.

Here is the list of 10 things to remember when you deal with office romance, but the most important one (I think) is that you cannot prevent employees from hooking up:
1. Accept it
People meet romantic partners at work every day, and rather than rant or fume about it, a smart manager will accept that reality. Work is a wonderful place to meet a mate or a summer fling; after all, how better to observe a person and verify that he or she is not crazy, violent, or otherwise unsuitable than to watch him or her in action at work? You can’t stop people from being attracted to one another, so keep a level head and a sense of humor about the whole thing.
2. Talk about it
Managers ask for trouble when they establish a subtle or not-so-subtle cultural norm that tells employees not to discuss social or romantic topics in the office...
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