Love affair at work
People often meet their partners at work. At the same time, not all companies approve of romantic relationships between colleagues – in the employee’s book or internal work charter there may be a separate clause prohibiting flirting and showing sympathy in the office.
Let’s tell you what to do if you fall in love with a colleague: how to behave so as not to disturb the team, when to tell the boss about the relationship, and what to do if you broke up with the boss.
Why do people fall in love with colleagues?
When we work together, we closely communicate with each other, experience uniting stressful situations and moments of professional triumph. This is quite enough for the emergence of feelings, according to scientists from the University of Texas.
Professor Amy Nicole Baker from the University of New Haven confirms what was written above – people often fall in love with similar partners. In her opinion, the social attractiveness of lovers, their career, and status at work are no less important than their appearance and character.
In romantic relationships, people often look for the same thing as employers in an interview – reliability, diligence, honesty, and the ability to take responsibility. It is easier to understand whether there is a set of these qualities in the chosen one if you work in one team.
Assess the risks
If you value the workplace, before starting a romantic relationship, it is important to remember some of the nuances and act prudently.
In a relationship with a colleague, as in any other, there is always a chance that love will not work out. Partners may quarrel or take offense at each other, but you still have to go to work and finish the project.
Professor of Psychology and Marketing at the University of Texas, Art Markman, recommends using the principle of “double relationship” from psychoanalytic – between a doctor and a patient there should be nothing but therapy.
Of course, this rule does not apply to friendship – sometimes employees become good comrades. Nevertheless, the collective is cool about romance in the office, especially with bosses: if you work with toxic colleagues, gossip about your personal life can harm your professional reputation.
Decide with intentions
Suppose you decide to go ahead and show sympathy. Studying the consequences of romantic relationships at work, sociologists have concluded that the team always evaluates what is happening.
If colleagues feel that you are initiating an office romance to satisfy your ego or for selfish motives, it will bury your career. In other words, there is no need to turn the office into Tinder-offline.
At the same time, at work, they are favorably disposed towards couples in whom they see sincere care for each other – for example when a husband and wife or partners are in a long-term relationship.
Find out how the company reacts to romance
Many American and European corporations prohibit employees from meeting colleagues, sellers, customers, or suppliers. In some cases, management may view compulsive dating attempts as sexual harassment.
In the West, such practices have been in place for several decades, but after the #MeToo movement condemning all forms of sexual violence and harassment, the norms of relationships have become more unambiguous.
In large companies like Facebook and Google, you can only ask a colleague out on a date once. If a girl or a man refuses under any pretext, corporate instructions prohibit initiating the meeting again.
Russian IT companies, on the contrary, welcome close friendship between employees and the creation of families within the team – when designing offices, they allocate space for cinemas and cafes so that colleagues can spend more time together.
Usually, the relationship between them is not regulated, unless it leads to a conflict of interest. Such a clause is sometimes found in employment contracts – the bosses may not approve of the affair between the sales manager and the service provider, or the purchasing director’s love for the head of the business unit if the company holds tenders.
In this case, one of the partners is offered a translation to another department or branch. If there is no such clause in the employment contract or its annex, it is illegal to fire for a romantic relationship.
Speak about the relationship correctly
It is better to tell your superiors about a romantic relationship with a colleague. When to do it – decide for yourself, but definitely not after the first date and hardly on the eve of the wedding.
First notify your supervisor, then your HR business partner. It is better for the bosses to find out about the affair from you directly, and not from the gossip of colleagues.
Sometimes couples talk about their relationship in the hope that one of the partners will be promoted up the career ladder: there is a myth that people who are married and with a mortgage, they are more willing to give an increase. Do not take the de-anonymization of the novel as a reason to raise wages – you can earn more in other ways, without manipulation and tricks.
Don’t kiss at work
Sometimes partners are forgotten – they hug and kiss at the workplace, hold hands, sort things out at the table. It will not be possible to regulate such nuances documentarily – the HR or the direct head of the department will remind of upbringing and the norms of decency.
The Australian Journal of Managerial Psychology investigated the perception of office flirting. Most of the respondents reacted negatively to open manifestations of romantic sympathy, someone even thought about changing the team.
Agree with your partner to leave all manifestations of affection outside the office walls. This will allow you not to once again focus on personal connections.
What to do if you broke up?
Unprofessional behavior of employees after the break of romantic relationships is one of the main reasons employers dislike work romances. Bosses do not want to witness the drama in the workplace and lose employees if they can no longer work in the same building.
Be discreet and do not sort things out in the workplace. Do not try to use fragments of personal correspondence with a former partner to pit him against colleagues or management – most likely, you yourself will suffer as a result of the conflict.
If you feel that you cannot cope with emotions, honestly tell your boss about it and ask for a transfer to another department or branch of the company.
Can you make it so that no one knows about the novel?
Perhaps, partners categorically do not want to talk about their relationship. The reasons for this may be different, but the procedure is similar.
Follow simple rules of digital and public hygiene: do not use corporate messengers and phones for personal communication, do not linger together at lunch, and do not come to work in one car.
Be careful when posting joint photos on social networks: restrict access to pages, update your list of “best friends” on Instagram and do nothing that could become a reason for gossip.