Even today, companies still tend to frown on romantic relationships in the office. Even so, office relationships are bound to happen with people spending an estimated one-third of their lives at work. Location-based dating apps add yet another twist to the situation by showing who’s single and nearby in the office.
In some cases, if the couple is genuinely serious about dating and building a relationship, the opinion is more favorable. If you find yourself in such a situation and need advice, the following information will help. Here are three things to keep in mind about workplace relationships.
Know your employer’s policy
In truth, workers have few legal protections against being fired for an office relationship. As of now, under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it’s illegal for companies to fire people based on race, religion, national origin, color gender or another protected attribute listed under the Act. However, it is possible for an employer to fire an employee for conducting a relationship at the office with a colleague or direct report or superior. In short, make sure you know your employer’s policy – written and unwritten – on relationships within the organization.
If you do begin a relationship, make sure that you behave discreetly in the workplace. If your position and responsibilities require you to work together, make sure you remain professional at all times. It is important to continue to be yourself day-to-day. Maintain and speak your opinions, continue to use and sharpen your same skills and conduct yourself in the same way as you did before you entered the relationship.
Determine when to tell your company
If relationships are allowed between colleagues at work, it’s important to keep your relationship private and discreet until you are fully ready to publicly announce it. Some suggest that, when that time comes, it might be necessary for the person with more senior rank – if that is the case – to volunteer to shift to a different role or responsibility. If the person with the subordinate rank moves, it could potentially be held against the senior individual down the road.
If you own a business or are part of a team, it is important to expect and prepare for these relationships. As an employee, it is important to know how the organization handles workplace relationships. As a business owner, determine ahead of time how you will handle them and their potential impact on your workplace.
Author Bio: Melissa Rayner is the 2nd generation owner of Trader Boys, where you will find quality office chairs in Los Angeles. She does her best writing at home in her sunny southern California garden.