Thursday, 17 July 2014


Workplace Romance involves two different members of the same organization who experience mutual attraction. As individuals devote increasing hours in the workplace, they begin to spend more time with co-workers building affairs. Although employers may desire for employees to be happy, workplace romance is extremely complex subject, due to the lack of formal rules and policies in businesses, practically all working citizens will be somehow be connected to a workplace romance.

Romantic affairs in the workplace can have several benefits to those involved as well as to the work environment. Some examples includes:

1. Motivate workplace confidence
There is something about watching people fall in love that makes others feel positive as well. The attitudes of the two people involved in the romantic relationship are often uplifting, and they become happier individuals, which reflects back on their attitudes toward their work and their coworkers. The other employees that see this relationship unfold often feel uplifted as well especially if they were able to play a part in the development of the budding relationship.

2. Inspire employees
Because workplace romances are often viewed in a negative light, the individuals involved are often motivated to do their job better and more efficiently in order to disprove the pessimism associated with their relationship with a coworker. Those involved do not want to be thought of as distracted or unproductive due to their relationship status, so they may put in extra time and effort to demonstrate the positive aspects of their romance. Also, being in love leads to positive attitudes, which in turn motivates people to do well in other aspects of their lives.

3. Encourage ingenuity and improvement
Ingenuity and improvement are other aspects linked with positive attitudes. Coworkers in a relationship spend a lot of time together both in and out of the workplace, so there is more opportunity to discuss new approaches and techniques to completing projects together. The individuals in the relationship may think-through ways to get their work done faster and more efficiently, so they may spend more time together outside of the workplace.

4. Moderate work-related personality conflicts
Romantic relationships in the workplace allow the individuals involved to become more open and willing to cooperate with each other. In combination with having more positive attitudes toward their work, individuals are often easier to work with because they feel more comfortable expressing their ideas and criticisms with their significant other. This behavioral change can lead to more effective work groups, and in the end, a more productive atmosphere in which open communication is a key aspect.

5. Expand teamwork, communication, and cooperation
A couple's relationship can provide further communication channels within the workplace especially if the individuals are members of different departments. The personal connection the two individuals have with each other can allow the members of their respective departments to feel more comfortable communicating back and forth as well. Because the channels of communication become more open and accessible, conflicts between departments are also reduced allowing the company to work more effectively as a whole.

In support to the above, there are several negative features that the romance may cause to the couple as well as to the company as a whole

1. Intimidate career advancements
A fear that many employees have when thinking about getting involved in a romantic relationship with a coworker is eliminating any potential they may have for increasing movement in the company. For instance, some managers may see the development of a workplace romance as unprofessional and a possible lack of decision that may discourage them from offering the employees involved any further advancements within the company. Many employees view a romantic relationship in the workplace as a risk that is not worth taking because it may jeopardize their profession.

2. Confuse work relationships
When office relationships end in a collapse, it can not only ruin the relationship between the two co-workers involved, but it can also eliminate any personal connections that the employees had with their previous partners department. Because the two employees will continue to see each other on a daily basis, the breakup can cause negative feelings toward the other individual as well as a reminder of one's failure.

3. Co-worker misunderstanding
Romantic relationships in the workplace are often known and easily detected by the couple's fellow co-workers. Once it is made known that the two individuals are in a relationship, it is often difficult for their co-workers to know whether to view them as individuals or as a team. Co-workers are often confused about how to react to the news of the relationship or the breakup, which can lead to awkward interactions in the workplace as well as avoided conversation. In addition, co-workers may often use the couple's relationship to change the opinions of one of the individuals instead of approaching the person directly. Also, the individuals in the relationship can often be misjudged because of the person they are in a relationship with. For example, a manager may pass up an employee for a promotion because he/she is in a relationship with an individual who does not exemplify the needed characteristics, and it is assumed that the couple is alike in that regard.

4. Work performance failure
The involvement of two employees in a romantic relationship can negatively affect their work performance due to distractions in the workplace. Fellow employees are likely to notice any decline in an individual's work because their capacity is often determined by their co-workers. Focus levels may decrease depending on the phase in the relationship.

5. Conflict of concern
Conflicts of concern often arise in workplace relationships especially when the couple works in different departments. Their opinions may differ, and they may disclose private information to each other that may hurt either side when making important company decisions. Many companies have policies that do not allow married couples to work together to avoid conflicts of interest in hopes of maintaining the reliability of the company as well as protecting the couple's relationship. However, some companies do allow married couples to work together but may provide guidelines on what is ethical and what is not. While working together at the same level may be acceptable, when the couple works in ranked roles, the standards may change. Another type of relationship that may cause a conflict of interest is when an employee is involved with a manager or an individual in a higher position. Coworkers may feel as if the employee in the relationship is receiving special treatment, and this in turn can affect the way employees trust the management of the company.