Romance can often feel like a bowel movement.
Some are smooth and fill the voids. Many can leave memories that are better left unspoken. But only one thing is for certain – they should almost never take place at work.
This is the lesson the business section of the The Oklahoman thought was appropriate to teach on Valentine’s Day. Because nothing says love and affection quite like a Q&A-style lecture about the dangers of office romances from a business reporter and attorney.
Via The Oklahoman:
Q: This Valentine’s Day, should employers be concerned about workplace romances?
A: Yes. About half of employees report they’ve had at least one office romance, but only 5 percent of employees say they’d tell their human resources department. Though it’s generally acknowledged that employees in a direct line of reporting shouldn’t consort or become romantically involved, such romances continue to occur, even if less frequently since the rise of the #MeToo movement.
Q: Is it common for employers to closely police workplace relationships?
A: While some employers have completely banned office romance, it’s more common for employers to establish policies placing certain restrictions and parameters on dating, particularly between those who have reporting relationships.
In fairness, the points shown in the article were valid and should be taken seriously. Perhaps it’s not the best practice to attempt to sleep with someone you work with. Maybe it’s not the right thing to start a relationship with someone who you share a job with. I mean, it’s not like there are a dozen workplace comedies which outline this exact plot; or 122, according to www.imdb.com.
Many revelations arose from the article. McAfee and Taft attorney Nathan Whatley prophesied that, “A potential problem with any romantic workplace relationship is that it may not end amicably.” Before this article, I assumed that all adult partnerships were either never-ending or mutually-assured to end like a bank transaction. Thanks to this article, I now have the understanding that people are human and can be hateful toward one another, when things don’t end well.
All said, we here at The Lost Ogle do not want to bash the stereotypes of failing office romances. After all, some manage to function properly. It would be wrong of us to focus entirely on the negative aspects of relationships at work.
Why not celebrate the overbearing commitment of two people in love, while you’re attempting to finish your project before closing time! As a romantic sap, nothing brings me more joy than watching two grown adults make kissy faces at one another at three in the afternoon. There is nothing I want more than to overhear an intimate conversation between two consenting adults about how they are going to spend their night together.
I cannot tell which is worse: a failing office relationship or one which is too successful. For those who can maintain a barely-noticed romance at work, we applaud you. Relationships like yours are what we call “workplace unicorns.”
Brandon is TLO’s newest contributor. Expect more.