Love in the office
By Emma V.
Romantic office relationships are the most stressful romances going.... but they needn’t be. As long as you keep a few pointers in mind the year’s worst office scandal could be the year’s most successful test of communication.
Familiarizing yourself with company policy on office romances is the key to more harmonious communication. Once you know the facts you can appease your concerned boss or colleagues, as well as yourself. Remember, peace of mind is a must for people who in the face of change usually ‘freak out’. Usually it is the habit of ‘freaking out’ and not the issue at hand that creates the most tension.
Also, people can become extremely vindictive and opinionated when it comes to such taboo subjects. As long as you act calmly, and coolly, and without any defensive measures, you are on the path to understanding.
However there are some useful issues you can ponder before taking the plunge with an office romance.
Keeping it secret: As we all know, keeping secrets is the best way of losing them.... with the maximum amount of scandal. Secrecy breeds mistrust, jealousy and accusation. If you are serious about the romance there shouldn’t be a need to keep it secret for too long.
Resentment from other colleagues: about ‘being in love’ or perhaps about a change in your behaviour. When office drinks no longer whet your appetite, colleagues get hurt.
Conflicts your partner is involved with: How does this affect your personal and professional standing? Will you be forced to choose between your partner and work agenda?
Public or nasty break-ups: What happens when you fall out and must work together? How is this going to cause stress and possibly more life changes than you bargained for?
Will your boss handle a public break-up: How will she maintain her cool when working with two warring factions?
Sexual harassment allegations: The sexual harassment victim decides whether a particular act is sexual harassment. Don’t tread a fine line as ex-partner and harasser. Be cautious, aware, and communicative.
Backlash: Colleagues often look for someone to blame when the work environment becomes disrupted. The hard truth is women still get targeted in relationship matters - especially public ones. She is more often cited as the one who knows better.
Make sure you ask yourself questions in relation to these issues.
Office romances are potentially high drama. There are ways to diffuse the tension within the work environment. Yet the problem is diffusing the tension between two ex lovers, as the issues above show.
When office romances turn sour and the work place becomes stressful the best option is counselling. Counselling for both parties, and possibly colleagues who have become involved themselves. This will enable people to let go of negative feelings so that work can be resumed efficiently and harmoniously.