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Dating a Co-Worker

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Relationships with a Co-Worker

More and more people are dating people they meet in the workplace because people spend a tremendous amount of their time working and plenty of jobs involve working overtime so it is understandable why office romances are blossoming all over the country. Many of these office romances are not simply passing fancies or casual flings as a survey conducted in 2003 by the American Management Association (AMA) found that an estimated 44 percent of office romances lead to marriage.

According to a joint survey conducted by the website Lawyers.com and Glamour Magazine, approximately 41 percent of Americans aged 25 years to 40 years have admitted to being involved in a relationship with a co-worker. Studies have shown that it is the office relationships that take place between managers and their subordinates that cause they greatest degree of problems for both people involved, but especially the staff member who has to report daily to the manager.

Adulterous affairs are on the rise as well, according to a number of research studies such as the Vault.com survey conducted in 2006. Several thousand employers as well as employees were polled and the results showed that inappropriate sexual behavior in the office and on company time is on the rise.

There are two types of office romances that are the most damaging to both the efficiency and organization of the company as well as the morale of the workers in general and these include the hierarchical romances where one person directly reports to the other person and the utilitarian romance where one person satisfies the personal and/or sexual needs of the other person in order to help the person gain an advantage in their career. Both of these relationships can have a detrimental effect on the people involved in them and they can also have negative consequences for other managers and co-workers in the company.

A very fine line exists between the professional and the personal and employers need to find that happy medium. The goal is to make everything at work run smoothly in order to encourage the productivity of employees while at the same time not delve too deeply into the personal lives of employees. Some companies believe that office romances will happen no matter what laws are put into place to prevent them so the best thing to do is to ignore then unless they present a real threat to the parties involved or the workplace as a whole.

Companies should provide as much training to their employees as possible regarding relationships that occur between co-workers and managers and supervisors in particular should be well versed in what is appropriate as well as inappropriate behavior. The sexual harassment policy should be well known to all employees at an office. The policy should appear in the employee handbook and it should be posted on a bulletin board for anyone to refer to whenever they wish to. Employers should come up with a reasonable policy about office romances and clearly define what they are willing to allow in the office and what they are not. This should then be communicated to all staff members so there are no misunderstandings about the subject.

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