While workplace romance was once completely off limits, employers are recognizing that putting people into the same space for over 40 hours per week can, and inevitably will, lead to romance. So, now that we know it can and may happen, let’s explore how some companies have learned to cope with interoffice romance.
Provide Training to Supervisors
Training supervisors on how to discreetly address interoffice relationships can help prevent issues from occurring. Supervisor training can also provide insight into diffusing matters of discrimination,sexual harassment, and rough breakups that cause disruptions in the workplace.
Many companies are instituting what is referred to as the “Love Contract”. This contract documents a consensual relationship. Both partners are mandated to sign this document and confirm comprehension of the sexual harassment policy at their workplace. In some cases, this contract also requests that the couple sign off on a plan of action in case the relationship should end. Love Contracts are used to prevent any disruptions within the workplace.
While love contracts may work in some instances, there are still situations that make workplace relationships inexcusable. It is imperative to ensure that the relationship does not fall within a chain of command. It is rarely acceptable to have a superior dating a subordinate. As Inc.com states, “If you have a ‘C’ (think CEO, CFO, COO) or VP in your title, you should always think twice about dating anyone in the workplace, even if he or she is now a direct report or within your chain of command.”