Office Romances

Beth Dean 02.11.15
48 Woman Standing

The approach of Valentines Day reminds us that romance can bloom anywhere…even in the office.

CareerBuilder released their annual office romance survey, which found that 37% of workers have dated a co-worker and 30% of those relationships led to marriage.

While the workplace may appear to be somewhat of a dating pool according to this survey, HR professionals tend to be a bit wary of office romances. There are a number of potential drawbacks that could occur, including office gossip, reduced productivity, inappropriate behavior or banter, and worse, accusations of harassment or favoritism.

As with any employee issue, each situation is unique and deserves individual consideration. Not all office romances are problematic.

To combat potential problems, many workplaces will develop a formal policy regarding romantic relationships. The policy typically takes a stance; either outlawing romantic fraternization among coworkers or only allowing it under certain circumstances among colleagues who are on equal footing. When choosing the latter option, the policy may require both parties to enter into a contractual agreement, or love contract, with the company.

A love contract usually includes the company’s expectations regarding displays of affection at the workplace, parameters for maintaining professionalism, and a plan for what happens if the relationship ends. These contracts are useful in limiting the liability the company may experience as a result of the relationship.

The CareerBuilder survey, unfortunately, found that 24% of those surveyed had engaged in office romances with a superior. Romantic relationships should never exist between an employee and a superior who has the ability to hire, fire, promote, demote, or control the worker’s rate of pay. Accusations of harassment, favoritism, poor ethics, or decreased morale can be especially relevant in this situation and often lead to transfer or termination of the superior.

Nextep’s HR Department can provide case-by-case advisement for employee issues, as well as assistance in crafting employee handbook policies unique to your company’s needs.

Also on Nextep

An Employer’s Guide to Politics in the Workplace The current political climate can be divisive, and tension can easily spill over into the workplace. When employees hold vastly different political views, it can lead to arguments, hurt feelings, and a fractured work environment. So, what’s an employer’s responsibility when it comes to politics in the […]
Read more
Unpacking the Buzzword You’ve likely heard the term “quiet quitting,” conjuring images of disengaged workers coasting through their jobs. But before we jump on the bandwagon of criticism, let’s take a closer look at what this phenomenon actually means. At its core, quiet quitting describes employees fulfilling their job requirements without going the extra mile. […]
Read more
A No-Nonsense Guide for Business Leaders The work landscape is shifting, and your business might be left behind if you’re still operating with a traditional mindset. Deloitte’s 2023 Global Human Capital Trends report offers valuable insights for navigating this changing terrain. Here are the key takeaways you need to know about the future of your […]
Read more
In today’s evolving work environment, employee engagement and productivity have become critical priorities for businesses. McKinsey’s research sheds light on this topic by identifying six distinct employee personas, each exhibiting varying levels of satisfaction, engagement, and performance. But the most striking revelation? Over half the workforce falls into two stark categories: building value or destroying […]
Read more
How to handle insurance during leave of absence Employee leaves of absence from work raise questions, especially about health benefits. Who shoulders the insurance premiums during the leave? Let’s untangle this knot one thread at a time. Paid Leave: Business as Usual Paid leaves are straightforward. Simply maintain regular benefit deductions from their paychecks as […]
Read more
March 1, 2024 is Employee Appreciation Day! Every year, businesses across the globe take a moment to pause and honor the backbone of their success: their employees. Employee Appreciation Day, usually celebrated on the first Friday of March, is a chance to express sincere gratitude and show these hardworking individuals how much they mean.  Appreciating […]
Read more
Remember that new independent contractor rule coming soon? It’s the one that makes it harder for businesses to call a worker a “contractor.” As a reminder, that big change kicks in March 11, 2024. Why should you care? More workers might become employees. This means benefits like minimum wage, health insurance eligibility, paid time off, […]
Read more
What Businesses Need to Know Last week, we discussed collaborating with employees who request religious accommodations during Ramadan. This week, we’ll look at some of the nuts and bolts of religious accommodations at work and the impact of last year’s Supreme Court case, Groff v. DeJoy. The Groff v. DeJoy decision, as we covered when […]
Read more
Ramadan, the holy month of fasting and reflection for Muslims, begins on Sunday, March 10, 2024, and end on Tuesday, April 9. As an employer, understanding your Muslim employees’ needs during this time fosters a supportive and inclusive workplace.  It’s important to consider that rejecting flexible requests without a valid reason could be seen as […]
Read more
Big Change for Gig Work and More The Department of Labor (DOL) has revised its rules for classifying workers as independent contractors, making it more difficult for businesses to do so.  Effective March 11, 2024, this change impacts workers across the US and could have significant implications for businesses of all sizes. New rules make […]
Read more
Essential Updates for Employers in the New Year Heads up, employers: there are several new workplace laws and regulations in 2024.  The new year is just around the corner, bringing a wave of changes for employers nationwide. These regulations aim to create a fair and supportive work environment that attracts and retains top talent. Federal […]
Read more
Ah, the holiday season—a time for joy, festivities, and the age-old puzzle of compensating your employees. Let’s demystify the rules of holiday pay for both our hourly (nonexempt) and salaried (exempt) workers. For the Hourly Heroes Picture your business decked out in holiday cheer, but your nonexempt employees are sipping cocoa at home. Under the […]
Read more

Download Our App


Download the Nextep Mobile App in Apple iOS or Google Play