Through these and other connections, relationships between co-workers can quickly evolve from platonic to romantic.
Certainly, many employees worry about their jobs and what a workplace romance might do to their job security and relationships with other co-workers.
From judges to presidents, our society finds it incredibly difficult to establish definitions for anything having to do with sex.
And, yet, sex constantly gets people in legal trouble…not to speak of other types of trouble.
So, despite subjective definitions that change with each generation or new court case, workplaces need to establish (and regularly update) their parameters of acceptable behavior.
Yes, a firm has legal obligations to protect employees from sexual harassment and hostile work environments.
Combine these numbers with the fact that 40% of employees polled reported that they had a romance at work and it’s clear that workplace romances remain a potential source of problems for employers.
In 2003, 47% of survey respondents admitted to having an office romance, according to Vault.com’s 2003 Office Romance Survey.
That goes for both types of offices—those that allow office relationships and those that don’t. In real life, people’s relationships exist on many levels, not all sexual, which complicates the effort to write an office policy about relationships.
Even non-sexual behavior can be unwanted or inappropriate.
We all know or have heard about couples who met at work, fell in love, and lived happily ever after.
Given the number of hours we spend at our jobs, it’s not surprising that many love matches have been made in the workplace. But even if they do, the potential problems employers face from romances at work should not be ignored.