In our previous article on the love bite segment, we shared an article on office romance which we promised to conclude. This week we have found eight important recipes for keeping a healthy office romance.
Kindly read below eight Golden Rules to Keeping a Healthy and Perfect Office Romance drawn from Good&Co’s.
Expect Attention -If you loathe the limelight, or tend to worry a lot about what people think, it may be best to keep romance for your private life. Word will get around, and people will talk, no matter how discreet you are. Good&Co’s research suggests that this aspect of office romance might be especially challenging for women, who tend to be more self-effacing and private than men. Similarly, older employees may be more discomforted by gossip than younger ones – workers of the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation tend to be more reserved and self-possessed than their millennial colleagues.
Maintain a Balance – Workplace romance has the potential to improve job satisfaction, but it can have the opposite effect on productivity if people become distracted by the mingling of their personal and professional lives. Millennials who according to Good&Co’s research tend as a group to be a little more easily distracted and spontaneous than their older colleagues, may find it especially difficult to keep their attention on their work when love is in the air. Men in general may also find this challenging, as they tend to be less conscientious overall than women and may have more difficulty balancing their personal and professional responsibilities.
Have Complementary Goals- Couples can make highly effective workplace teams, if they keep their eyes on the prize – but not if they’re competing for the same prize. Not everyone likes the idea of being one of a ‘power couple’, but at the very least you should ensure that you both have equal opportunities to pursue your career path, and that you aren’t stepping on each other’s toes to do it. Men, who tend to be more aggressively competitive than women, may find it especially challenging to balance their own ambitions with supporting the goals of their partner. Talking openly about your respective career plans, and what to do if they should conflict with one another, is a better strategy than wrestling secretly with your conscience. If the relationship leads to long-term cohabitation and/or marriage, however, scheming against each other is entirely to be expected, and perfectly normal
Respect Office Policy – An office relationship may not be killed by one or both parties losing their jobs, but it certainly will no longer qualify as a workplace relationship. Knowing your organization’s policy, and being transparent and clear about your relationship, may seem unromantic, but it could save a lot of problems in future. Older employees, who tend to be more straight-talking, less tolerant of ambiguity, and more respectful of the rules than their younger colleagues, are likely to find it easier to tow this particular line.
Respect Your Coworkers –Especially important if you’re involved with the boss(!), as we have seen, not everyone is comfortable about couples in the workplace. New couples in the ‘honeymoon period’ often have the habit of forgetting that the world around them exists! As well as keeping up with your responsibilities, ensure that your colleagues have no reason to resent your relationship. Be aware of their feelings, be discreet but not secretive, and remember that not everyone is comfortable around public displays of affection! Women, who tend to be more open to others’ perspectives, and less domineering than men, may find this it easier than men to keep their non-romantic workplace relationships stable.
Respect Each Other (especially if it goes wrong). Friendships often blossom into relationships; when relationships wither, however, the odds of the reverse happening are not good. A bad breakup can be soul-destroying; suffering through one at work, with all your dirty laundry on full display, could be career-destroying. Being open and honest with each other, keeping things amicable, and keeping as much of your private life out of the workplace as possible can all help to reduce the fallout if the worst happens. The same holds true for more minor fights and disagreements – don’t turn your personal spat into an all-out office war! Keep your laundry in the basket; don’t run down your tainted lover to colleagues or ask them to take sides at work.
Don’t Abuse Your Power –(or allow your partner to abuse theirs). As we have seen, one of the clearest themes to emerge from research into office romances is how risky it can be to date the boss. This doesn’t mean that true love can’t blossom between people at different levels of an organization – as the poem says, love is love, in beggars and in kings. If you do find yourself contemplating a relationship with a large power difference, it might not be possible to avoid the ramifications, but you can at least be aware of them, and discuss them transparently with your partner. Consider whether they are practical solutions which would suit you both, such as one of you transferring to another team or department – the less closely your jobs are connected, the less likely it is that your relationship will incur risks for the junior partner (so to speak).
While fairness and mutual respect are important in any relationship, they are absolutely crucial in this situation. The less senior person has the same right to pursue their ambitions and succeed in their career as the more senior; if the relationship is putting their job at risk, it could easily lead to frustration and resentment. If you are in the more senior role, ensure that you are sensitive to, and appreciate, that your partner is paying a price for being in a relationship with you – not only in terms of their career progression, but in the reactions of their coworkers. Dating the boss can be lonely. If you are in the more junior role, be prepared to deal with the attitudes of peers and superiors alike. Be open with your partner about these challenges, and how you feel about them; communication is key.
So, there you have it – Good&Co’s golden rules for successful office romance! Boiled down, they’re really the same as in any relationship – be respectful, be honest, be fair, and maintain a good work/life balance. With this in mind, the pros of office relationships can outweigh the potential negative consequences.
And there’s one more advantage to office romance: even when it falls on a weekday, like this year – you always get to be with your honey on Valentine’s Day.