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Dating a Co-Worker

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Company Policy on Co-Worker Dating

Before you even consider starting a relationship with a co-worker it is important to be aware of what the company or corporate policy is on office romance. Many years ago office romances were frowned down upon by many but today with people working longer and longer hours it is hard to find the time to socialize so sparks flying in the office is becoming more of an everyday occurrence. As well people spend a great deal of time with their co-workers and they share the dynamics of their jobs and their workplaces in common. This can provide the very beginning of cohesion when it comes to a relationship.

According to a workplace romance survey done by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), the majority of companies have no formal or written policy concerning relationships that involve co-workers. There were 617 respondents to the survey and 72 percent of these people said that there was no written policy at all while 14 percent said that there was an unwritten rule in the office that is understood by everyone who works there. On the other hand, 13 percent of the people polled said that their company does have a policy in place when it comes to dating.

Other interesting points to come out of this survey was that 55 percent of the human resource professionals said that most of the office romances that blossomed at their workplaces eventually led to marriages. Yet other studies that looked closely at office romances showed that marriages among co-workers are even higher than 55 percent. This is good news for people who have little time to meet new people outside of the office.

The number one reason cited in the survey for a formal dating policy in the office, which is seven percent of respondents, relates to concerns over the fear of sexual harassment. Other reasons include concerns over jealousy, retaliation and disharmony among workers if the office relationship breaks up. Many managers worry that office romances will have a negative impact on company morale and will decrease the productivity level of the couple that is dating as well as other co-workers. Many people have jobs where if they do less work then another person is burdened with more and most people don’t appreciate others slacking off and then being saddled with a portion of someone else’s workload.

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