Relationships at Work: Guidelines to Avoid the Drama

by: Andrea Brown

February is the month of love, where everything is filled with pink hearts and rainbows. But how does that work when the people who are sending chocolates and flowers to each other work together? According to the survey, produced by job site, 58% of employees have engaged in a romantic relationship with a colleague. When you see the same people day in and day out, and build a trusting relationship with those people there are bound to be relationships that form.

So, if two employees find love at work, how do you navigate that? Did you know that 22% of workers say that they have dated someone who was their boss at the time? When this is the case it can be impossible for that person to advance ethically. It is also important to ensure that all staff are valued and treated with respect not just by those in charge but also by work colleagues. If employees feel like someone is getting unfair treatment because of a relationship you are inviting in drama that can break apart your team.

There are times relationships at work have a happy ending as 31% of workers who dated someone at the workplace say that relationship ended in marriage. Although a huge wedding party can seem like a great team building event, there are also times it doesn’t end well. Around 6% of people report they have left a job because of a relationship that went bad. Not to mention the countless sexual harassment suits filed by jilted lovers or victims of romantic advances that didn’t take no for an answer. People should feel comfortable coming to work knowing no drama awaits them when they walk in. When those dynamics change so does the way people work.

    Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to make sure you know how to navigate the month of love at work.

  • What are your workplace rules?
    o You want to make sure you are not in violation of any company policy regarding relationships. If you are the one writing those policies make sure they are clear and you follow through.
  • How do you leave relationship problems at home?
    o If John forgets take out the trash before you leave the house, make sure you take some deep breaths and leave that behind before you walk into the office.
  • What if you’re making your coworkers uncomfortable?
    o Not everyone wants to be in the mix of a relationship, respect that.
  • Can everyone be happy?
    o You have to look at this and say, is this going to work? Can someone move to another department or location? Can relationships really stay at home? Can you continue to be professional even when you forget your anniversary for the second time?

If you still have questions when Cupid hits people at work with his arrow of love, be sure to reach out. We are here to help you set boundaries, work out problems, and would love to be invited to that epic wedding party team build.

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