With Valentine's Day right around the corner, a small business owner overhears two employees discussing their upcoming date. The business owner knows that office relationships can negatively impact the workplace. Favoritism, conflicts of interest, and even sexual harassment complaints can disrupt productivity and influence morale, especially if the relationship sours. She considers adopting a policy on workplace relationships.
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Office dating: Why you should follow policy on workplace relationships
Office romances have been around for as long as offices or other workplaces. Because of the amount of time we spend at work, side by side with our coworkers, our social lives and professional lives often become entwined. Those relationships are sometimes quite intimate, even when they aren't romantic. If you find yourself attracted to a coworker, follow these rules to stay out of trouble. Sometimes, however, your good judgment goes awry when chemistry takes over. First, find out if your organization has a formal policy that forbids employees dating one another.
Ask HR: Do I really need to tell my company that I'm dating someone in my office?
You share the same hours and some of the same interests. You're both responsible adults. But getting intimate with an employee is deceptively complicated. It can lead to everything from a loss of respect among your staff to a sexual harassment lawsuit.
Considering how much time is spent at work, it is no wonder that workplace friendships often lead to attraction and flirting -- then suddenly, romance blooms. Boredom and drudgery vanish in the excitement of the new relationship. But what happens when the boss finds out? Can he legally keep the office Romeo and Juliet apart? The answer is, it depends.