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The rules of love in the workplace

What’s love got to do with it? Quite a lot, actually. February marks the month of love and romance as Valentine’s Day takes over shops and social media feeds. Everywhere you look, there is love in the air. People spend the majority of their time working and workplace provides a preselected pool of people.  People who share at least one important area of interest, who tend to live within reasonable dating distance and who see each other on a daily basis so the probability of falling in love at work is pretty high!  In addition, the mounting pressure of life means that we often form strong bonds with our colleagues so relationships do happen, be they fleeting fancies, long-term dating or something that leads to wedding bells. Even one of our own director’s met her husband at work!

So just how feasible is it to fall in love with a fellow colleague or your line manager for that matter? Naturally, if you spend a lot of time with someone and build a relationship, love is possible! Relationships at work, managed in a professional way, can work. Should you be made to choose between our professional personas or following our hearts?  Clearly, while you are entitled to a private life, organisations need to consider the affect on the business and colleagues. Ultimately, as a business owner it’s better if people feel able to be open about their relationship at work!

A personal relationship at work can in some cases result in problems, and many employers choose to have a policy on relationships at work. And affairs can cause a whole heap of problems, but today’s not the day to get into that.

Issues can arise when a workplace relationship comes to an end.  The fallout from this can not only affect the individuals concerned but can affect the mood and productivity of a whole team.  Additionally, things could get really ugly, with accusations of harassment or bullying.

As a business owner, it’s important to be sure that any relationship at work is mutual and doesn’t amount to sexual harassment.  The global #metoo campaign has encouraged the empowerment of both victims and witnesses of sexual harassment to challenge and improve workplace cultures so you may think you’re being romantic, while others just find it creepy.

If you want to know more about relationships at work, have an issue you want to discuss or would like advice about a policy on relationships at work, then please get in touch with us at