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HRM CA | 13 Feb 2015, 08:00 AM Agree 0
A third of Canadians have dated a co-worker – but this HR manager says office romances can prove incredibly costly.
  • Ted McNicol | 14 Feb 2015, 08:40 PM Agree 0
    There's a delicate balance between avoiding uncomfortable situations in the office and trying to control normal human behaviour. With people spending a large portion of their life in the workplace, there are going to be romances inevitably, especially for single employees who may have most of their social contact at the office. Companies that encourage employees to form sports teams or participate in local events together are more likely to have such relationships develop. Who would want to work in a company that discouraged human interaction?

    Rather than trying to prevent office romances, which may tend to drive them underground, basic rules are required. First, where a relationship between a leader and someone else, the company needs to have rules in place for its own protection. The only solution in those situations is to remove one of the employees so that there can be no allegations of undue influence.

    I disagree with a strict ban on "romantic behaviour" because all that will occur is driving the relationship underground. Certainly encouraging appropriate behaviour in the office would be acceptable to all, without trying to define it - one person's opinion will likely differ from another's.

    Allowing the relationship to be "in the open" is the best way to ensure the people involved are aware they must comport themselves professionally. This will be good preparation for the inevitable situation where some office relationships will fizzle, and there will be less likelihood of tension increasing to the breaking point.
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