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Workplace relationships tend to be a relatively taboo subject that few people openly discuss. But they are definitely a reality, and we all must know the rights and wrongs when it comes to workplace relationships. If you’re considering engaging in a workplace romance, you need to be fully aware of their potential perks and pitfalls. This will allow you to make informed decisions when it comes to engaging or rejecting them.
Our personal connection program is built to help highly driven young professionals navigate and develop their relationship with themselves and others inside and outside of work.
To help you along the way, here’s everything you need to know about handling a personal relationship at work.
First, let’s take a look at just how common workplace relationships are. You’re not likely to get a whole lot of honest or accurate information on the topic simply by discussing the concept of workplace relationships with colleagues. After all, the information that spreads around is usually rumors. Sometimes, people will never find out about relationships that are taking place because those involved are discreet. Instead, it’s best to take a look at professional studies that have been conducted in the area. Here are some interesting results that show the status of workplace relationships in the modern-day.
Vault.com found that 58% of employees have engaged in some sort of romantic relationship with a colleague.
Almost half of the employees don’t know their company’s policies regarding workplace romance – this could be because these policies don’t exist in the first place or because they’re not effectively communicated.
Almost one in five employeeshave cheated on their partner with someone from work – 19% of employees admitted to cheating on their partner with a colleague. In contrast, a much larger 44% say they are aware of colleagues who have had affairs at work or during business trips.
Most workplace couples keep their relationship a secret– around 64% of employees who are engaging in a romantic relationship with a colleague will not tell others about this, instead choosing to keep things under the radar.
Three in four people would consider engaging in a workplace romance – 72% of people surveyed would consider participating in a workplace romance should the opportunity arise.
A Note on Workplace Relationships
Before we get any further into our discussion of workplace relationships, it’s essential to note that any workplace relationship has to be consensual between both parties – as with any other relationship. Never assume that you can act romantically with any of your coworkers. This means you should not talk to them in a sexual or intimate tone without given consent. Show respect for others’ personal boundaries and always ask for outright permission to act in any way other than professionally. Remember that people may be polite or lenient to avoid tension in the workplace. You shouldn’t rely on a protest or someone overtly saying “no” to advances. Without clear consent and permission, you may actually be harassing someone.
Legal repercussions can vary depending on where you live. For example, in many countries, personal relationships between any colleagues are deemed completely fine. In others, specific relationships are punishable through fines, imprisonment, or even death. Make sure to be familiar with the regulations in place in the country you’re working in – especially if you’re working overseas where you may be unfamiliar with common law and practice.
Check the Policies of the Company You’re Working For
Many companies have regulations in place when it comes to relationships between colleagues. It’s always worth checking your company’s policies, so you don’t find yourself in breach of them. If there are rules in place that forbid employees from being in relationships, you need to evaluate whether this relationship is worth one of you leaving your role and working somewhere else.
Consider Whether the Relationship is Appropriate
Even if there is consent between both parties, you need to determine whether the relationship is appropriate. For example, a senior figure within a company engaging in a relationship with someone in a junior rank can be deemed problematic due to the inherent power imbalance between the two individuals.
Remain Professional in the Workplace
If everything’s going smoothly and you and your colleague are in a working relationship, it’s essential to remain professional in the workplace. It’s generally best to avoid public displays of affection, and it could be deemed extremely unprofessional to bring personal issues into your professional day – for example, continuing a personal argument within the workplace. It’s also vital that you avoid showing your partner preferential treatment above other colleagues. This can cause issues, as people may begin to feel unfairly treated, and this can result in feelings of resentment which are never productive in a professional environment.
What Can We Say About Personal Relationships at Work?
As you can see, personal relationships in the workplace tend to fall into a relatively grey area. Some would say to avoid them at all costs. Others are in happy marriages with their colleagues and wouldn’t change a thing in the world. Only you can determine what’s best for you. However, to better improve this situation, an online personal connection course can help you maintain a healthy relationship at work.
Hopefully, the above information has helped you make more informed decisions if you do decide to go ahead with a workplace romance!
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