MANAGING WORKPLACE ROMANCE.

  • Posted : Grace Christos

At about 1200 B.C. a beautiful young widowed woman left her people to stay with her mother in-law. On getting there, she took to farming as a means of income for them both.

Her hardwork was a thing of attraction. It was quite notable, as the boss in whose field she decided to glean was told of it. He took particular interest in her, and told his workers to ensure she always got more than enough.

The story ended well for them both. They got married eventually, and stayed happy.

But there is a part of the story we aren’t privy to. How was the reaction of the workers when they were told to show Ruth preferential treatment? Did she face any opposition? Was she ever discriminated because she was a Moabite? Did she act differently when she got married to the boss? And so many more questions become points of concern.

P.S: Workplace in this post refers also to Religious and Non profit organizations.

Workplace Romance is common occurrence in every organization, firm, church and the likes. It simply means getting involved with a co-worker, colleague, superior…anyone who works in the same place as you do.

STATISTICS OF WORKPLACE ROMANCE

Considering the amount of time an individual spends at work and religious organizations, it is unlikely that emotional entanglement won’t be present.

Social psychologists say, you become more attracted to whatever or whoever you see consistently. Plus, working together reveals common interests and ideologies.

As at 2018, 62% of workers have gotten involved at a point with their co-worker or someone at work; indicating more than half of employees have. 55% of Human Resource Professionals say that marriage is the likely outcome of office romance. 19% of employees in a committed relationship have cheated on their partners with a colleague at work.

More surprising is that 64% of people in a relationship at work would keep it private. But 72% of workers would engage in workplace romance if given the opportunity.

PROS AND CONS OF WORKPLACE RELATIONSHIPS

There are amazing benefits to workplace relationships when it leads to the altar. You easily get connected to someone you can share dreams and aspirations with; especially when you are sure the person completely understands them.

Working together means you get intimated with the technicalities involved in bringing your partner’s dreams to pass. Your vocabulary become similar, you have more inside jokes, you get to spend both quality and quantity time together.

One major excuse given as regards why people cheat on their partners with colleagues is that the colleagues just seem to “get” them, and their partners don’t.

Workplace relationships solve the distance problem. You can conveniently work on projects together, whether within or outside work. It is really amazing.

However, being involved with a person at work goes beyond you. You are bounded the ethics and conduct of whatever organization you work at. As much as blessing it could be, the tables can turn just as easily.

A number of organizations discourage workplace relationships because of the following reasons.

  • Handling Break Ups: How do you manage to work with a person just as closely as you once did when you were in a relationship? There’s a great likelihood that personal history could distort work’s integrity and take away your ability to remain objective. What’s more is the pain that you have to see your ex over and over again.
  • Dating Your Superior: Women are most likely to date their superiors, while men date someone with a lower rank than theirs. This kind of involvement is greatly discouraged at work. It is possible that the point of attraction and motives are not genuine. It could have more to do with the position, as opposed to the person.
  • Maintaining Objectivity with your Partner at Work: When you get involved with your colleague and you get a promotion, how smooth will you working relationship get? If you are in a position to give a promotion, who comes first in mind? When it comes to dishing out instructions, and penalties for defaulters, how effectively would you be when it concerns your partner? Maintaining objectivity could become an issue if not dealt with wisdom.
  • Public Display Affection: This could be a little as hands locking together when you both reach for a thing at the same time, to taking unnecessary breaks just to spend time with each other. It could become detrimental to work productivity and concentration.
  • Effect on Other Employees: As much as a couple could try, it could become increasingly difficult to hide a love affair. And when others become aware, they automatically conclude that there would be a show of favoritism, especially when the relationship is with a superior. It could sponsor rift and strife in the organization.
  • Handling Work Conflicts: Just as amazing as it is to dream and aspire together; having contrasting views and work conflicts could be terrible. Sometimes, you might not get the opportunity at that instant to air your contrary opinion. For ladies, this could be very discomforting and must be managed wisely, before it becomes tagged as rebellion.

5 STEPS TO MANAGING WORKPLACE ROMANCE

  1. Become a Person of Purpose: Having direction and rules that govern your actions are life savers. If you’re going to get involved with anyone, know exactly what you want out of it. With precision and clarity of purpose, you will be attracted to someone just like you. This would minimize heartaches and unnecessary emotional entanglements.
  2. Become Familiar with the Work Ethics of Your Organization: Almost every organization has a rule concerning relationships at work. If you are going to get involved with someone at work, it is wise to be familiar with it. Depending on the nature of your organization, you and your partner can become accountable to your HR manager. It further solidifies the relationship.
  3. Observe Professional Conduct at Work, Always: Work is work. Be reminded of that. You have to be emotionally disciplined enough to curtail PDA and remain professional during working hours. If this is unattainable, seek a transfer or switch to another unit, that reduces contact. Consistently breaking work rules on the long run will become detrimental to your relationship.
  4. Don’t Bring Work Home: Never divulge sensitive work information to your partner or seek counsel on a matter your partner clearly has an interest in. Let the home be a place of bonding…since work disallows it.
  5. Always Let Love Rule: Never leave conflicts unresolved. At work, realize that conflicts aren’t personal. Objectively analyse contrary views, and take criticisms impersonally. Ensure work conflicts are resolved at work, and home conflicts are resolved at home. Consider the interest of your partner above yours when taking decisions.

Love covers a multitude of sin.

Apostle Paul
Author: Grace Christos
Grace Christos is a freelance writer, blogger, social media manager and public speaker. Although a graduate of Ahmadu Bello University, Civil Law; she discovered her passion for speaking and writing, and has been doing so professionally since 2014. Currently the Editor in Chief of Koinonia (Eternity Network International), Life Coach; Life 101 and President of GCB.

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