Those involved in an office relationship can maintain it effectively without affecting job performance, co-workers, or their career. Research conducted by CareerBuilder in 2010 shows that employees no longer feel the need to keep office romances secret. 67 percent of over 5,000 employees surveyed that they feel no need to hide an office relationship. This figure is up significantly from 54 percent in 2005. Offices are often coming up as the “number one” place to meet a potential love interest, and companies are realizing that they have to accept the inevitability of co-workers becoming romantically involved with one another.
However, that does not mean that all pairings at work are considered acceptable. If one or both partners are married, the relationship is off-limits. And the general consensus at most companies is that relationships between bosses and subordinates are hands-off.
Due to the possibility of retaliation post-breakup, those interested in pursuing a workplace relationship are advised to take it slowly. A long corporate courtship can lead to a more stable relationship that is less likely to have a negative impact on the career of either person involved. Employees involved in relationships should adhere closely to their company’s policies and procedures regarding workplace romance. If they are required to report the relationship to the human resources department, they should do so as soon as possible.
Additionally, employees should practice appropriate behavior towards each other in the workplace. Public displays of affection should be nonexistent and the couple should address each other as co-workers, not romantic interests. Those involved should take care to not exclude members of their team or department by being too involved with each other.
If the relationship ends, the individuals previously involved in the relationship need to maintain a professional demeanor in the office. Neither of those involved should attempt any sort of revenge, sabotage, or retaliation. One of the caveats of becoming involved in a workplace relationship is that if the relationship ends, both members need to continue to work together and remain professional.