The “that” Question
Eyes wide open now, yes, I’m going to pull out the “that” question. Does romance in the workplace work for employees and employers?
We’re all aware that romance in the workplace does happen. Colleagues working together closely, diligent in getting the job done, mutually, accompanied with long hours, daily. Is it so surprising that attractions may spark? Temptations may be tempted?
There are those employees who are free to acquaint themselves with the possibilities and surely the possibilities are many! However, there are some employees who don’t have the work place policy freedom to entertain romantic connections.
Have you ever asked yourself, what is it about the workplace that lures employees to take the next step with a colleague and pursue intimacy? Physical pleasure, impending excitement, coupled with that enticing escape. Does it benefit the workplace?
I’m not going to answer these questions. I simply would like to take you on a journey of thoughts, in your vocational minds. You, yourself, can answer the very question, whether romance in the workplace is profitable.
Romance and the Workplace – A compatible couple?
There’s always that common risk that lurks around one’s mind when thi
nking about connecting with someone romantically, within the workplace. Sure, there are attractions that occur and playful gestures that may be had. Sometimes bonds and strong friendships form with workmates, too. However, does romance and the workplace actually make a compatible couple? Can a harmonious flow of work continue if there are two people attracted to one another, taking the added step to becoming involved with the other person of interest, intimately?
“No one truly needs to know. It can be kept under wraps”….and all the other thoughts we comfort and reassure ourselves with.
Work is work. Romance is romance. They are separated in their interaction. Or are they?
Interestingly, more than half of American professionals say they have participated in an office romance, according to Vault.com’s annual office romance survey.
Closely working together
The workplace is an area where most employee interact closely. We spend numerous hours throughout the day in neighbouring proximity, sharing thoughts, ideas and mutual work tasks, that at times can become a continual, mundane routine. There’s always the usual banter that occurs throughout the office, the light hearted flirting that may sprout up, from time to time, too.
Then, without warning, the banter turns to deeper conversations, the flirting intensifies to deeper thoughts, maybe philandering and impromptu feelings. The feelings can take a life force of their own, obliterating everything else around the prospective couple. Emotions are ignited and work seems to be a happier, more expectant place to arrive at and remain. Working longer hours is now also appealing. The flutter and excitement alluring and sometimes filled with deep seeded fantasizing.
It becomes almost like the romance is in a chasm of its own, refusing to release the interested parties. Capturing the couple into an energising, stimulating territory. The feeling of the unknown desiring to become known. The sense of the untouched longing to be touched.
Concentration levels are beginning to wane. Opposing feelings appear to fan into flame the anticipation of work. Early arrivals start to occur. Motivation towards the work tasks increase. On the flip side, distractions, diversions and deviations are all craving for attention and of course, the thought process of these characteristics weighing on fantasies, are becoming too strong to maintain a process of productivity.
Both can feel the stares piercing from the others desk. When you walk by you sense that maybe, just maybe, you’re being examined with what you have to offer. What would it be like? Could work and relationship truly combine to produce a better workplace arrangement, a productive, inspiring office? The mind continues to offer up ideas, questions, doubts, of relationships coupled together all day, every day. The proposed secret, or the open legitimacy. The pact to perform the best to finish the workloads. All the chaotic thoughts cuddling the corner of the clouded mind, weighing the pro’s and con’s.
“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance. ” Oscar Wilde
Various workplaces have in place policies concerning romantic relationships, it’s a “no go zone.” Policies focused on areas, such as, favourtism, sexual harassment, performance and productivity.
However, playing thoughts are highlighting by, maybe, the enjoyment of sneaking around, in an energised determination, making it all the more enthralling. The pull of the forbidden apple. Taking risks is all about fun and the unforeseen. Consequences are far from the minds play. Jobs come and go. We live in an era where job jumping is encouraged, sought after and viewed as growth. Ignoring the obvious risks can potentially result in something meaningful, lifelong, unexpected. Rules are meant to be broken. That’s what we’re told. As long as no one is being hurt, the work load not lacking behind, then it all seems above board.
Office Romance – an asset or a liability?
Some may argue a workplace relationship can boost and enhance the workload of an employee. Having something new, fresh, exciting within the workplace may bring a spark of genius inspiration, or a little more passion to the job. It could be advocated that a workplace relationship could very well enrich the employees work style? Two mature adults are mature enough to set boundaries. Both are consenting adults able to put aside their conflict towards maintaining a strong work ethic to eliminate anything coming in between their impending tasks. Both parties are alert, and well-intended in their joint efforts to keep work at top priority. Work can continue to be produced, and maybe now at a faster, more tenacious pace, especially with the luring aspect of romance, that’s enough to encourage any employee to perform at their best!
Where is the harm, really? An office romance seems to highlight more advantageous than disadvantages, it seems.
Effects of an Office Romance
The office environment is paramount to producing productive outcomes. Each employee has their individual tasks. Each employee is part and parcel of the entire function of keeping the wheels turning within an organisations. Therefore, as much as possible, liabilities or downfalls in the workplace are strictly avoided, or policies are put into place to identify the risks of such liabilities, guidelines must be adhered to. Employees are responsible for taking into account any negative outcomes that may affect an ongoing productive office environment.
Do office romances rear unpleasant traits or consequences that hinder us from reaching our full capacity within and throughout the workplace? There’s always that dangling thought of…”what if the romance doesn’t last?” Will other unsightly characteristics come out of a romance separation? Accusations, exposure, gossip, if the secret is uncovered? What about the legal ramifications of being involved with a co-worker? Can there be a productive loss to the organisation if the romance ends terribly and co-workers decide whether to remain or leave their positions? Boundaries being overstepped and stretched may not always offer a saving from the fall of grace for employees. There are valid questions and outcomes we should ask ourselves.
The sexual, romantic drive that is alive and well in all of us should require an examination of sorts. Boundaries are often put into place for our protection, well-being and caution, where the workplace and romance are concerned. The pros and cons of an office romance are worthy to be departmentalised through appeals of wisdom and discernment. Evaluating the future consequences to an office romance is also advantageous. Is the ongoing success of a career worth the weight of a workplace romance that may or may not succeed?
At the end of the working day, will romance in the workplace be an asset, or a liability to you? The choice is yours for the choosing.
Footnote: 2016 Office Romance Survey Results