Office romance issues

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Co-workers flirting
An office romance may prove difficult to manage
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Discover the pros and cons of an office romance.

Office romance issues can range from the very relationship being against company policy to how to keep the relationship under the radar or make it public.

Office romances are seemingly more popular. Not surprisingly, considering many people spend more than half of their time in the office. Outside of the office they are socializing with the same co-workers, or simply socialize at work because they don't have time to do it anywhere else.

The Pros and Cons of Office Romances

While on the surface work seems like a good place to find love, it may not be the ideal place to grow a relationship. The plus side of finding love at work is that you get insight into the person's work ethics; the person's methods and abilities to handle conflict; the person's ability or inability to interact with various personalities; and in some cases, you may get some insight on how the prospective candidate reacts under stress.

On the other side of the coin is a long list of office romance issues. You are spending a little over half of your day with this person at work; then hours together after work. You have now curtailed the space held open for family, friends and the things you like to do. The issue becomes too much of one person. Some corporate experts believe that an office romance can reduce work efficiency. Efficiency, it is believed, is affected by office romance in several ways: lack of focus, failure to challenge or present new ideas, and a loss of the competition edge.  

Separating Personal and Professional Life

Office romance issues in theory can affect the bottom line; for that reason, managers are taking the matter very seriously. Many corporations acknowledge the romances but try to keep them from hampering work by establishing mandatory rules. One of the key implied rules is to keep personal and professional life on different platforms.
Clinical psychologist Dr. Asquith Reid says that overall, office romances may be healthy and natural but when they turn sour, they can complicate business operations. Reid notes that "office romances that turn sour may affect one's job performance, because individuals are usually in a state of emotional turmoil." Reid added that securing a job is a matter of stabilizing oneself because work is the main thing that legitimizes someone.

If you seriously have your eye on someone in the company, whether co-worker or manager, do consider some things that can make the workplace a hard place to be for eight to 12 hours a day. Points to consider include:
  • Resentment from other colleagues
  • Public or nasty break-ups
  • How will your boss handle your break-up, specially if your boss was the one you were involved with
  • Sexual harassment allegations
Depending on whom you ask, office romance issues cover many risks. The important thing is to discuss the what-ifs up front before you lose a professional and romantic relationship.

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