Work is the place where people spend the majority of their time. Other than getting out to go the bars on the weekends or heading to see the usual dose of nightly entertainment, people don’t really get out to meet others. It’s only natural that out of the employees spending a minimum of 40 hours a week together, that people are going to start developing feelings for one another. If they’re the kind of people who have a tendency to be a bit dramatic, you might find yourself dealing with some scenes in the office.
This leaves you in an uncomfortable predicament. You can’t very well tell people not to see each other as chances are good they’ll go behind your back and do it anyway, especially in this day and age…but if you don’t lay don’t some ground rules, you might find that your office is the next round of contestants on the bachelor or bachelorette. Maybe not literally, but you get the idea. If you’re finding out what your own boundaries should be with interoffice relationships within your business, here are some tips you might consider following:
Encourage People to Talk About Their Budding Relationships
Budding romances surrounded in secrecy do nobody any good. Shakespeare gave us a pretty good example when he wrote Romeo and Juliet. The first thing you should consider doing is encourage your employees to be open with you about when relationships are starting to head towards something a bit more involved and serious.
When you develop an atmosphere that shows your employees you care about their wellbeing and that they don’t need to hide things, this could create an environment where there is less drama from the beginning. You might find that you’re able to pass along some useful advice about dating, too. Just remember that you’re not their mom or the say all end all. Make it so that people don’t have to sneak around and there will be less people sneaking around because of it.
Make A Company PDA Rule
While you might decide that banning relationships within the workplace is the right move for you and your company, you will have people who defy your wishes. To make things easier on you and to ensure that you’re not implementing too much or too little control, make a company-wide PDA, or public display of affection rule. People can date, but if they do, it stays out of the office. While they’re at work, there is no visiting cubicles for extended periods of time, no hand holding, no kissing, and certainly no hookups in the copy room.
As long as you’re fair and you are sensitive to your employees, they should be okay with this. If they’re not, you might discover they’re not the kind of people you want working for you anyway. In the end, you’re looking for people who respect and obey authority, not people who defy it for self-serving reasons.