If like me you like a good read, or a rom com, you will know that some of the best romances have flourished in the office environment. We have been inspired by the advent of St. Valentines day this February to offer some features covering both our professional opinion and our personal experiences of romance in the office.
We spent most of our waking hours at work, so it’s not surprising that statistically you are more likely to meet a romantic partner at work – I met my husband at work (you can read more about that in my interview with ILM in Finding love at work).
A recently commissioned survey to promote the DVD release of the TV series, ‘How I Met Your Mother’, pro-ports that relationships that start at work are more likely to stand the test of time, but whether successful long term relationship or not, consider the impact at work.
It is important for both the romantic couple and the organisation to consider the impact of their behaviours on those working alongside them. One can only imagine how Bridget Jones’ colleagues felt watching the disasters of her unrequited love unfold. And if the relationship does get off the ground it’s not all sooth running only about a third of office relationships end in marriage.
In any event, the best way to approach the issue as an organisation is to manage the romance should it occur, each situation will be unique and require handling appropriately. If you are one of the romanciees remember to respect your colleagues and consider how your relationship might make them feel.
Gary has recently published an article which discusses the issues that can arise as a result of workplace relationships and offers suggestions about how they can be effectively managed by the organisation, published in HR Review. He believes the secret to organisations managing office romances is to be open, to encourage honesty, to be consistent and fair and I think this advice should also apply to anyone in an office relationship. Be open about your relationship, encourage others to be honest if they feel the relationship is impacting on them at work, ensure that you are consistent and fair in your interactions act work.
For further information about staff surveys or employee engagement, please visit www.surveyinitiative.co.uk.