Fun fact: Barack and Michelle Obama met each other at work, as well as Bill and Melinda Gates.
However, these famous personalities aren’t the only ones who got bitten by the office love bug.
A recent study showed that a whopping 89 percent of employees admitted to being attracted to their coworkers. Meanwhile, 58 percent of them actually dated a co-worker in the past. And mind you, these include those who are working remotely.
What’s Wrong With An Office Romance?
No matter how romantic it sounds, office romances often have a negative connotation. And with good reason.
For starters, they don’t always end well. When an office romance goes sour, the parties involved aren’t the only ones accepted. Any rancour between them can make interactions between their colleagues awkward too.
Then there are the superior-subordinate romantic relationships. Apart from the potential abuse of power, they also raise questions about fairplay and equal treatment -even if an employee deserves every bit of their promotion or accolade.
If you rely on a remote team to keep your company afloat, you’ll want to steer clear of these issues. It’s nearly impossible to ban workplace romances outright, but you can prevent the worst consequences by laying out good policies around office romance.
Setting Up Effective Policies to Regulate Workplace Relationships
Although office romances are fairly common, most companies try to steer clear of mentioning them. As a result, as many as 41 percent of workers aren’t aware of their companies’ dating policies.
However, it’s still best to lay it out on the open from the get-go. After all, you don’t want to have that discussion after everyone finds out that their colleague resigned after breaking up with his/her co-worker. Or worse, when you learn about their relationship after they openly argued on your company-wide group chat. Yikes.
So, where to begin?
Let’s take a look at some common policies other companies have:
Requiring Full Disclosure
Employees in romantic office relationships must disclose the nature of their relationship with HR. If you don’t have HR personnel, the direct supervisor or manager can fill this role.
“Love Contract” Signing
Some companies take things to a different level. They actually require their couple employees to sign a “love contract.” This certifies that the relationship is mutual and consensual – just to ensure that there’s no power tripping or coercion going on.
Banning Superior-Subordinate Relationships
Most employers see no issues with colleagues dating each other. On the other hand, they’re not so keen on superior-subordinate relationships. Hence, they just make it a point to explicitly ban them.
No one likes public displays of affection (PDA’s) -even online. Thus, it helps to ban such things at work, regardless if it’s done through emails or group chats. After all, we want to establish and keep clear boundaries between our personal and professional lives.
There are no hard and fast rules when managing people…especially if love is in the picture. Hence, whether you follow the examples above or come up with your own set of rules, anything goes.
As long as you draft and implement policies prioritising your company’s and employees’ wellbeing, workplace romances shouldn’t be a problem.
Remote Staff has been helping Australian SMEs and entrepreneurs like you find skilled remote workers from the Philippines for the past 15 years and counting. We also help with onboarding and provide continuous support so you won’t have to deal with any remote work romances that may come up on your own, too.