Dating someone you work with is frequently cited by workforce experts as a very bad idea.Yet 40% of workers admitted they did so in a 2013 Career Builder survey – and we have no reason to believe that number has gone down since then.
It seems great on paper, but it doesn’t account for the human condition.
Your employees will date someone if they want and assume as long as they don’t display affection, no one would find out.
That’s not a safe route for anyone in the office and can disrupt productivity and exclude other employees.
So, what does the burgeoning office relationship mean for employers?
Relationships gone sour have the potential to raise tension in the office.
Couples that practice ODA (Office Display of Affection) make other employees uncomfortable. The way you handle a new romance can expose the entire organization to risk or result in a great relationship you helped cultivate.
There are no hard rules when it comes to fraternization policies – but it is necessary to have something in place to guide appropriate behaviors.
Yet only 42 percent of companies have intra-office dating policies.
These policies protect the company as well as the two individuals involved.
Make sure every person in your office understand the rules and how to report relationships should they become serious.
Some HR departments require written disclosures, making the involved employees officially state their relationship. This is extremely hard to enforce because the term “fraternization” is difficult to completely define and policies that ban fraternization don’t really work.