You know you will have at least one thing in common, as well as an informed ear to bounce all your troubles off when you get home in the evening; 2.You will probably have had the opportunity to study this person quite closely before starting to date them. What do you expect the company will think about a romance between you?
This system obviously has advantages over night-time pick-ups in darkened clubs, holiday romances, (notoriously short-lived), or blind dates arranged by friends. High-powered City workers of the Nineties are accustomed to using the office as a complete life- support system. Making a pass is a dangerous manoeuvre in the workplace. Trying to blur the lines between business and pleasure will appear sleazy.
If your interest is not reciprocated you could be accused of sexual harassment or - at least - end up looking sad and sleazy once the office gossips have done their worst. How highly do you value this person as an employee/ colleague/ friend? This would entail getting someone to work late at the office and then taking them out for a meal "because it's too late to go home and cook" or taking them away on a business conference and making sure your rooms are next door to one another. Working well with someone means being relaxed with them - and that is impossible if you're not sure whether they're trying to seduce you or not.
Dana Brownlee, president of professional training development company Professionalism Matters, advises against initiating a romance with your manager, or, likewise, with anyone who reports to you directly or indirectly."If you're a manager, you should be held to a higher standard," she says.
"You're creating a climate where people are going to see bias whether there really is bias or not."Relationships with your peers are generally more acceptable—assuming they're unhitched.
After firing CEO Dov Charney last month, American Apparel decided to update its company code of ethics with stricter guidelines regarding interoffice relationships.
According to the new policy, “No management-level employee may make sexual advances, welcome or unwelcome, toward any subordinate.”Considering Charney’s time with the company was riddled with allegations of sexual harassment, it’s no surprise that the company wants to take a more conservative approach to fraternization.
But here’s the thing: Whether or not there are policies forbidding them, office relationships happen.
A recent survey by Career Builder found that nearly 40% of employees admitted to having a romantic relationship with a co-worker.
Two of my coworkers have warned me to be careful, as there have just been rumors of people in the past possibly having relations and the woman was always the one to be terminated.
It is indeed legal to prohibit dating between coworkers (with a few exceptions, such as in California, where courts have ruled that the state constitution provides broader privacy protection in employment matters).
And you can indeed have a policy that requires one of the parties to move on if a relationship happens.