When you’re running a business with other professionals working for you, occasionally there are going to be situations in which you find relationships forming amongst your employees. For businesses running in an office where the same people congregate every day, it’s not uncommon to find that employees build friendships that sometimes lead to romantic relationships.
It only takes two employees to find a common bond and next thing you know, you have a romance stirring in the office. It may sound like a sweet love story that you can feel a sense of responsibility in helping to make happen but did you know that this could actually cause an issue for your company? Office romances often get ignored but they are becoming more common in workplaces. Here is a look at the good and bad of employee relationships and what you should do about it.
Why are they so common in the workplace?
Not only are your employees spending somewhere around forty hours per week together but offices are great ways to meet people and build friends that can lead to relationships. They have a common interest in the work, a similar set of skills that led them to this job, they spend more time at work than home in some cases and it’s easy to find comfort in friendships in the workplace that makes the job more enjoyable.
Many times, adults in the workplace connect over the shared interest in their work and begin learning more about each other’s personal lives which can lead to a more intimate connection. For singles in the office, there isn’t much time left in their week to meet other singles and it’s natural for a connection to form with a coworker that shares their interests, educational background and goals.
The benefits and the problems with it
While there are issues that can form with office romances, there are a few benefits as well. Employees that strike a connection with a coworker that leads to an office romance, they’ll find more excitement coming to work each day, more motivation to do a great job and an enthusiasm that may brighten their whole demeanor.
This is due to the fact that each day they get to be around their new love interest and they may find it exciting to come to work and do their best each day. They will be more productive since people work better when they are comfortable with the people they work around. If the two end up getting married, they will end up talking about their work at home which may lead to brainstorming and increased productivity that works out well for you as the boss.
The downside of office romances that has led some business-owners to ban it altogether is that office romances can cause drama. It’s hard for your employees to keep their professional and personal lives separate when there is an issue such as relationships forming or ending. When the breakup happens, your other coworkers may feel obligated to take sides and your office is going to have a lot of tension.
While the romance may seem simple now, it may lead to problems in your office. Even if it goes well, you may have issues with favoritism among a supervisor and the staff member they are dating. This may mean tension when bonuses are handed out or responsibilities are distributed and other office staff resent any potential favoritism. They may lower their productivity if they feel decisions are based on relationships rather than effort.
Keep these scenarios in mind when determining if office romances are acceptable in your workplace.