February 11, 2010
Is Office Romance in the Air Where You Work?
Word on the street is that work couples are going public. Office romance, once considered taboo, has become much more acceptable in the workplace. In fact, in a recent Monster.com poll, only 24% of respondents said flat-out that workplace romance is never acceptable. And this article from LiveCareer.com says the recession is fueling some of this love at work.
Personally, I know at least five married couples whose relationships began in the workplace. Their approaches to dating a coworker were all different -- some kept it quiet the entire time they worked together, and others were open about it from the beginning. The one thing they all did was keep it professional.
Some Monster members posted their own office romance tales on our Office Politics message board. One member, who worked for a company with a strict no-dating policy met her husband at work. She declares: "When it comes down to it, no company can stop the love thing." And another Monster member broke her own rule, as she had been against office romances. "I'd never take it back, because he's amazing and we're getting married, but I do have a horror story as well," she writes. It turns out that coworkers weren't as excited about the couple's decision and it negatively impacted their careers. If you are in a relationship with someone you work with or are thinking about dating a coworker, check out our Guide to Office Romance, filled with tips and things to consider before you make your move.
And with Valentine's Day this Sunday, coworker dating is not the only way love manifests itself in the workplace. Don't forget about all the harried mailroom workers making sure candy, flowers and other gifts make their way to the appropriate recipients. At a former job, my now-husband and a coworker's suitor had a friendly competition: who will send their honey the bigger and better gifts at work? The first day I received flowers and the next day my coworker received a half-dozen multicolored roses. Hearing about this, the next day my guy sent me a dozen roses, followed by my coworker receiving candy. As my coworker and I were showered with gifts, it became an office joke. And as the ante was upped, everyone benefited from the chocolate-covered strawberries and gourmet cheesecake. I'm not sure how it all stopped, but it eventually did, and we all went back to work.
So what are your thoughts on office romance and celebrating love at work in one way or another?
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Well, I believe that you cannot prevent it. And, if you want to lose good employees over it, then you will.
There are rules that need to be observed such as you cannot manage or have any financial control over any person you may be involved with. Any perception of impropiety will create a picture of favoritism.
Posted by: Mike | Feb 14, 2010 6:13:20 PM
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