According to a survey carried out by Vault.com about 58% of workers have had a romantic relationship with a colleague. Workplace romance is not something a worker plans to engage in, but it just happens.
Even the holier than thou employees sometimes get caught up in the corporate romance web. This is mostly the case because, most employees get to spend tones of hours everyday with their co-workers and it is just natural that we become fond of and bond with those we spend most of our time with.
Another possibility too is that you get to see some of your work colleagues exhibit qualities that you wish to have in a romantic partner and hence you may be tempted to give a relationship with them a try.
Although, workplace romance may seem inevitable, it can equally be dangerous for those who get involved and sometimes for the entire company.
It is therefore expedient to be well aware of the dangers that accompany workplace romance before we act on our feelings.
Here are 7 reasons you may want to avoid workplace romance if you intend to have a future in that organisation.
1. Your competence would be undermined: This especially is the case when you happen to be in a boss-subordinate relationship and you are the subordinate. First of all you may have gotten you job because of your qualifications, competence and perhaps you are very good at what you do. But the fact that you get romantically involved with your boss, all these competence flies out of the window, and no credit is given to them. Even if you’re truly deserving of a promotion, your other colleagues would not consider it as well deserving rather, they will associate it to the fact that you have something to do with the boss that’s why you got promoted. Thus in other to ensure the growth of your career you either stay out of any form of romantic relationship at the work place or you can have one, just that one of you may have to leave the job or change departments in other not to create a mess.
2. Bullying or unpleasant behaviour between workers: Bullies are present everywhere and the workplace is no exception. When your co-workers get to know of your romantic relationship with another worker or your boss, some will begin to pick up on you and try to find fault in every little thing you do. You may even become an outcast, that no one is willing to be your friend because they think you are a snitch. This kind of bullying and unpleasant behaviours can affect your work performance negatively because their behaviours can be psychologically and emotionally draining. This also creates the environment for violence and hostility.
3. Reduction in your work performance: Having a romantic relationship at workplace can have a detrimental effect on you overall performance and it may even spill out to other colleague. You who was considered as hardworking and good at what you do you’ll begin to slack mostly because you are having a divided attention. Especially when the two of you are having problems in the relationship, this can affect your concentration at work since whenever you see your partner your mind gets reminded of the problem. Worse of all there is a tendency you may become preoccupied with checking whether they are flirting with other co-workers or not coupled with unnecessary jealousy.
4. You may have a bad break up: In as much as we see and hear amazing stories of how some couples fell in love at work and are now happily married. Statistics has also revealed that more than half of workplace romance do not actually end well. Mostly due to the kind of drama and mistrust it comes along with. Another reason being that, although you two are broken up you still get to see them everyday, and this is particularly hard for the one who has been broken up with. This is when you have to put all personal issues aside and act professional, which is mostly not easy.
5. You reputation would be dragged in the mad: Although your love relationship may be genuine and valid without any form of ulterior motive. Most colleagues will not see it from this perspective. They will usually think and say that there is a catch other than love to why you decided to have a romantic relationship with you co-worker. It is even worse when the one you’re having the relationship with is someone who is on a higher rank of power than you and this person has influence to make decisions in your favour.
6. Potential Conflict of Interest: No matter how much you tell yourself and decide that you will be professional there is always going to be that one situation that you will have to make a tough call that will either be in favour of the company or your significant other. Also, it can be hard to be objective when it comes to giving a review report on your significant other.
7. Rumours and internal gossip which may affect overall work environment: Rumours start even about platonic relationships. Just because two people are becoming close, rumours can start about they having a romantic relationship and if the rumours are not true the effects can be very devastating. Your colleagues will always be on the look out for cues to confirm the rumours they have heard. So every movement of the two of you would be monitored and actions that are not even romantic would interpreted as romantic. Most of your actions would be wrongly interpreted and no matter how innocent your relationship may be in your eyes, your co-workers would always assume the most outrageous situations.
If after being aware of all these risks and you still decide to continue perhaps because you think the person is worth it, doing the following things can be of great help to you to having a successfully workplace relationship.
Firstly, have the best intentions,thus you are getting involved because you love them and want something exclusive. Don’t pursue a coworker if you don’t intend to have a relationship with them or just for your own personal gain.
Secondly, get to understand the company’s policies on workplace relationship and the rational behind them.
Lastly agree with your partner about how you will handle a break up should there be any and avoid public display of affection (PDA).