Monday, May 17, 2010

How Workplace Romances Can Negatively Affect Productivity

There are two sides to the coin regarding workplace romance's effect on productivity.  One side maintains that office relationships are detrimental to one's career and productivity at work.  People of this opinion maintain that those in office relationships are making their co-workers uncomfortable and are constantly open to scrutiny and accusations.

When in an office relationship, one can become distracted and spend more time cultivating their relationship than completing their assigned work.  Also, the newfound closeness of two co-workers can cause intra-group conflict when those in a relationship work closely together.  Co-workers can feel left out and excluded from the relationship, and group morale can decrease.

Relationships in the office can also lead to accusations of favoritism, whether real or perceived.   If an employee is dating a supervisor, and is either getting special treatment, or being perceived as such, the effect on productivity will be negative.  Finally, a person unwillingly in a relationship could be subject to sexual harassment, which can cause them to become distracted or uninterested in their work.

But the most negative affect on productivity is when a relationship ends.  Although those involved may have the best intentions of continuing to act professionally in the office, the opposite is usually true.  Awkward and uncomfortable conditions are likely to ensue and one or both of the members of the former relationship will not be completely focused on work.  And in a worse case scenario, one member of the relationship may begin harassing or bullying the other, leading to an inability to focus on one's job.

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