Romance or Reality In The Workplace

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If any of you have fell prey on a dreaded office romance then you would agree with me that it’s a huge no no. A failed workplace romance can not only hurt your reputation but your career as well.  You can’t control where you find love, but when romantic sparks fly on the job, you have to pause and think carefully on how you want to proceed.

The break-up of a relationship is bad enough, without the added complication of having to see the person, if not everyday at least in work situations that require the remaining of professionalism. At the risk of your well being, job performance and professional identity, potentially damaging the dynamics of your team, and breaching company policies.

In many break-up scenarios that play out in the workplace, the challenge for the two employees is how to control their emotions at work. Psychologists’ who have done studies on this particular topic have uncovered that in most of the cases the relationships were hidden from colleagues, so the two employees felt the need to control their emotions at work, partly to protect their professional reputations and partly to protect their personal reputations, particularly when the relationships were extra marital.

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A relationship break-up can also have a detrimental effect on work performance, whether or not the former partners work together. A break-up can lead to a decrease in motivation and an inability to concentrate, due to the grieving process.

It’s usually the man who can compartmentalize and continue to perform well, retaining a strong sense of work self esteem and professional identity seemed to protect them against some of the negative impact of the relationship fall out, partly because their professional pride was intact. And because, well let’s face it,  if it was a short lived relationship chances are everything they said to you to pull you in close was a flat out lie.

It’s wise to understand your rights and obligations before you choose to pursue a personal relationship at work. Being educated can go a long way towards helping you to stay on the right side of your organization’s policies and the law. You just never know when push comes to shove the only person looking out for you in this situation is you. If things end on difficult terms the scorned one can sure make your work life a living hell, especially if that person is in an authoritative position.

I’m not saying that work romances can’t work out for the best, I have come across a few stories that evolved into happy endings however at one point or another it was known that one of  the partners either gave up their job to continue the romance or moved to a different department in the facility after it got more serious in order to save the romance and the couple from potential destruction.

My advice is make sure that you’re both in the relationship for the right reasons, not just because you’re finding refuge and comfort from the day-to-day work grind.


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