The Benefits of Dating a Colleague!

Studies are revealing that inter-office relationships are far more beneficial than once thought.

The Benefits of Dating a Colleague!

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By Joe Issid
Monster Contributing Writer


Given that such a great proportion of our daily lives are spent surrounded by our colleagues, it seems statistically probable that our partners are found among them. However, over the years, many companies have frowned upon – some going so far as to formally prohibit – the practice, fearing that such behaviours were in stark opposition to the company’s bottom line. New studies are revealing, however, that inter-office relationships are far more beneficial than once thought.
 
Modern Attitudes
Another 2012 study from Workplace Options revealed that 84% of Millennial workers (aged 18-29) say that they are open to the possibility of engaging in an inter-office relationship, compared to just 36% of Generation X workers (30-46) and 29% of Baby Boomers (47-66). These numbers strongly suggest that modern attitudes towards workplace romances are shifting.  Of these Millennial romantics, 71% believe that there are positive repercussions of engaging in these extra-curricular activities. But what are they?
 
Happy workers make good workers
When you are involved in a meaningful romantic relationship, your productivity at work is likely to increase: we all tend to work harder when we are happy. Additionally, if you are involved in a workplace relationship, your productivity is likely to increase even further as work becomes a unifying bond between you and your partner. We all discuss our work when we come home in the evening and dating a co-worker only increases these types of conversations. Inadvertently, my wife and I engaged in brain-storming sessions outside of work hours and spent a greater amount of time trying to help each other resolve work issues. This had a direct impact on our enjoyment of - and performance at – work.
 
Increased Loyalty
I developed a renewed excitement to show up to work every day once I started dating my wife. Having a close, personal connection with another member of staff provided me with a greater professional support structure and motivation to remain with the company. We decided to disclose the relationship to management early on, who were very supportive.  This support was instrumental in making us feel as valued and respected members of the company and certainly increased the collective desire to remain employed with the company. It has been five years since our initial disclosure and my wife still works for the company; despite the fact that I left a couple of years ago to pursue a new career, I still play on their soccer team and attend company events.
 
Decreased distractions
Many companies fear that employees who become romantically involved with one another run a great risk of becoming distracted at work and will see a decrease in productivity and focus. While this is a justifiable concern, the reality is that the distractions are reduced by virtue of working in the same office. Having the ability to eat lunch with your partner daily or being able to take coffee breaks with them decrease the amount of work time spent on personal matters. Truth be told, I almost never fielded personal phone calls or text messages from my girlfriend while I was at work as I would see her 4-5 times a day in a professional capacity.
 
Insider knowledge
Dating someone who is intimately familiar with your work environment can provide you with a great deal of insight and assistance with regards to your job and, ultimately, your career. Seeking job advice from your partner is a more valuable exercise when they are familiar with the circumstances and personalities involved. Additionally, being involved with someone who also belongs to the same industry increases your potential reach within it. It may sound insidious to suggest that your romantic involvement at the office can benefit your career, but, if handled appropriately, can benefit all aspects of your life.

As any romantic comedy will exclaim, we can not choose with whom we fall in love. Engaging in a meaningful romantic relationship can be a euphoric experience. However euphoria does not necessarily need to be tempered if the object of your desire happens to be a co-worker. Needless to say, make sure to perform any due diligence before engaging in anything that may be prohibited by the terms of your employment; you would not want to do anything to jeopardize both your career and your relationship.