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Friday, July 26, 2013

Rules for Dating in The Office

Office Dating
(Photo: Frederic Cirou/ PhotoAlto/Getty)

According to the bureau labor of statistics, Americans spend 10 more times working than they do socializing. This means, there’s not enough time to meet new people outside of our work environment. In fact, 59 percent of people now admit to having had an office romance at some point. 

How should companies face this inevitable challenge?

  • “Cupid contract” is a solution some companies have found to face these situations. It’s nearly impossible to avoid the effect of cupid, but it’s important to have a legal written support where staff members acknowledge they have a voluntary relationship in order to avoid any claims for sexual harassment. This contract benefits other members of the company as it guarantees there will not be any preferential treatment and it also benefits those involved in case things go wrong, the contract offers the guarantee that any repercussion –like retaliation from one of the parts- can be taken to management’s attention to avoid your normal development at work.
    Tip: Avoid dating your boss, it will most likely not end well for one of you.  
  • Dating is banned: Some of the most traditional companies still have this type of policy where dating between staff members is forbidden. Although reasons like avoiding gossiping, maintaining the chain of authority, avoiding preferential treatment and not risking confidential information may seem strong enough; the truth is it will still happen even if it’s forbidden. Companies need to evaluate if the cost of having a couple in the office would be higher/lower than losing a member of the team only to comply with the rules.
    Tip: We strongly suggest you don't use the companies email to send love letters, you never know who else is reading that! 
  • And more recently, some companies have decided to openly accept this kind of relationships. The reason is newer generations are changing the way businesses are run. According to a Workplace Options survey, nearly 85% of 18-29 year olds would have a romantic relationship with a co-worker, compared to just over 35% for 30-46 year olds and about 30% of 47-66 year olds.
    Tip: Are you a supervisor? watch out! you'll be surprised to know that 40% of those 18-29 year olds would date their supervisors.

If you do decide to date someone in your office, just keep in mind that it's not romantic to hold hands during presentations, the photocopy room is visited by more people and you shouldn't call your boyfriend "bunny wabbit" in front of his colleagues unless you want him to be embarrassed the rest of his life. 

We’d like to hear from you. What office dating policies do you have in your office? Have you experienced any positive/negative situation? Were you one of the lucky ones that met your wife/ husband at work?

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