This article looks beyond the first heady weeks of office romance and gets down the nitty gritty.Before you accept the offer of a date from that cute new guy in accounting, learn a little more about navigating the minefield of workplace romance. When you spend this much time with someone, you get to know them on an intimate, day-to-day level.If you and the person you’re dating believe this is something lasting, it’s best to disclose the relationship with a supervisor or management above both your positions for a fair analysis of the situation. Dimoff, CPP explains how some companies are taking office romance policies a step further, “Many companies today are creating “Love Contracts” for people that are dating each other from the same company.The purpose of these contracts is to clearly outline specific guidelines and acknowledgements by both parties in the relationship.The closeness and intimacy of a romantic relationship and the subsequent loss of this relationship could trigger a sudden and violent response.The Supervisor/Subordinate Relationship – Double Trouble? The supervisor/subordinate relationship is one of the trickiest office romances to navigate since there are so many potential pitfalls. Think of it this way: If your supervisor has ten other employees under him but he’s dating you, your coworkers are going to start treating you differently.Normally, you would reprimand the person but considering the relationship, your hands are now tied.Supervisor/employee office romances may also lead to legal consequences. explains, “Now, in addition to the awkwardness the relationship undoubtedly will create, there is a legal issue with respect to potential harassment or discrimination claims.
Being in a relationship where someone knows those demands and how that can likely impact time and availability is vital for any kind of relationship growth.
For example, giving raises/promotions to a subordinate simply because of a relationship he/she has with a superior or the perception of the relationship having an impact exists.”And don’t forget about sexual harassment. Even if the relationship was consensual, you always run the risk of a sexual harassment claim from the subordinate who can claim feeling pressured to continue the relationship out of fear of losing their job.
However, Janet Blair Page, Ph D sees this type of romance in a slightly more favorable light: “The up side is that if the relationship works either as a romance or closer friendship, the subordinate wins more intimacy with no downside and the subordinate wins a lover and/or friend and possibly protector and mentor as well.”What to Do When Romance is Unavoidable Some office romances go beyond the excitement of a mere fling; they’re the real thing.
Another reason work and romance rarely mix is it can put a serious hamper on job performance.
You may find yourself taking longer lunches together or finding ways to sneak off to be alone.