Decoding workplace relationships and how they impact everything else

Every workplace has an elephant in the room that everybody talks about privately but never likes to address in public. Have you guessed it yet? It’s workplace relationships or affairs as the commonplace term goes! Romances are not going away anytime soon from modern day offices, considering the fact that more and more working professionals are spending more time in the office (sometimes their entire lives even!).

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However, the big question here is the impact of such workplace relationships on the overall office environment and whether these ties are welcomed by other colleagues and the management. Romances at work are commoner than you may have thought otherwise. People work together for extended periods of time and this often spurs a certain attraction amongst them. Sometimes, it is quite natural to feel attracted to those you work with.

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Psychologists and other experts have been of the opinion that in many cases, workplace romance garners negative attention and reactions from other people since the primary concern relates to performance at work is being impacted. These relationships are often viewed as steps to move up the professional ladder or even as manipulative ties. They can spawn gossip which is unnecessary and this may impact the work environment tremendously.

Why it matters- Assessing the Impact 

• 84% of companies are concerned about favouritism arising from such relationships

• 78% are concerned about sexual harassment and revenge related/legal backlashes

• 72% are anxious about revenge or retaliation

• Colleagues romancing bosses/superiors are lied to/distrusted more

• They are seen to have lower integrity and credibility

• Colleagues perceive unquestionable shifting of professional loyalty

• Colleagues fear PDA, flirting and inappropriate sharing of the confidential company or other information

• Managers fear workplace relationships may hinder productivity

• Companies do not encourage relationships between subordinates and their managers/bosses

• Open flirting or holding hands is seen as highly unprofessional

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However, most companies are now trying to establish workplace romance policies which are clearly defined. Workplace relationships can impact overall employee engagement and can come with emotional and legal backlashes that may be hugely damaging.

For the couple in question, they need to handle it smartly and be aware that colleagues will be communicating a little differently at first. In case the relationship does not work out, it may be awkward seeing each other at work. This is why one should date a co-worker only after being aware of all the consequences.