It’s inevitable – put a whole bunch of men and women together for eight hours a day, and sooner or later, sparks will fly. But a new poll has revealed that workers are unlikely to congratulate office hook-ups.
According to the poll, over 70% of people disagree with romantic relationships formed at work. So why do so many wrinkle their nose at the very thought? Apparently, many employees have been burned by a workplace relationship, even if they weren’t involved in the union. “In cases where a manager is dating an employee, or even when a romantic relationship between colleagues is overly affectionate, the situation can negatively impact other workers, potentially de-motivating them and affecting productivity,” Tudor Marsden-Huggins from Employment Office said.
However, it seems that Gen Y didn’t get the memo, or perhaps hasn’t yet be badly burned by romance at work.
According to a study by a US employee benefits firm, 84% of employees aged 18-29 said they would date a co-worker – and 71% said they think workplace romance is a positive thing that improves performance and morale. Their older colleagues disagreed. Just 29% of those in the 46-65 age bracket said they would consider dating someone they worked with, and 90% said it could do more harm than good.
"[Gen Y] is looking at this through rose-colored glasses. Workplace relationships can have a negative effect if they aren't managed well,” Dean Debnam from Workplace Options said. “They think, 'If something happens, oh well, I can find another job’, [but] older workers grew up in a time where dating a co-worker was considered really dangerous if not downright stupid, and they know that once you have a good job, you don't want to lose it," he added.
It’s important for companies to protect themselves by having a policy in place for managing any workplace relationships that may occur, and Marsden-Huggins said having guidelines can ensure romantic connections don’t impact on the business in a negative way.