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Office Romances - Can They Work?

Joanna Clare

Can we or even should we mix business with pleasure? Well, if statistics are anything to go by then the experts have already arrived at their conclusion that over half of us have actively engaged in a romance within a place of work with a colleague.

It's not really surprising though, considering that we spend up to five long days a week with the same people and it's only natural that strong bonds and attachments are made in the place which consumes most of our time.

There is nothing more delightful than to see a fledgling romance blossom into something more serious and then to be invited to the wedding!

However, with almost a fifth of us having cheated with someone that we work with, this pleasant scenario may not play out as often as we would like it to. Affairs seldom have a happy ending. Someone will invariably get hurt whilst others are in the difficult predicament of being aware of the affair yet having to pretend they know nothing and to turn a blind eye. Once the affair is common knowledge or ends abruptly, there is often the possibility of tempers fraying and accusations flying ~ none of which make a pleasant or professional work environment.

Some places of work have rules that frown upon a work-related romance for various reasons, so it may be in your best interests to consider this.

Nevertheless, if we do find ourselves falling in love at work, to maintain the utmost professionalism within the company and to preserve our own integrity then we must have strict boundaries. If we do not have boundaries then we run the risk of losing focus on our work and could  ultimately cost us our job.

Everyone is different and all relationships have differing dynamics, but boundaries should always include situations such as leaving bad feelings or the aftermath of an argument away from the work environment, dealing with that green eyed monster~ jealousy, especially if we need to spend time liasing with other people within the workplace.

In a work setting of any type, our role should be  one of a true professional where we carry out our duties to the best of our ability and affairs of the heart should therefore be dealt with outside of our designated working hours because it won't just be affecting ourselves but it will affect all those who work with us.

Occasionally, even with the best intentions, relationships may turn sour and if this happens it is vital to have a confidential talk with either a manager or HR representative before it begins to affect our mental health and our work. Having an open and honest approach will allow a solution to be sought swiftly which will be beneficial for all involved.

As in all types of relationships throughout life, friendships will come and go and people we were once close to will naturally fade into the background, making room for the people that matter. If someone is meant to be in your life then they will be, helping you become the best version of yourself.

Love the right people and let your heart guide you in the right direction whilst always maintaining your professionalism to the very  highest standards.

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