Workplace Dating? Do you swipe Left or Right?

Despite the likes of dating apps like Tinder research shows that a large number of workers are searching for the one on their own doorstep!

Young couple sitting at a table holding hands

Morgan Pryce, providers of office space in the city, conducted a study to find the number of people willing to partake in an office romance. They found a definite divide in the British workforce. Exactly 50% of those asked said they would not start a relationship with someone they worked with.

Surprisingly, 100% of those over 55 years old voted a renowned YES to engaging in love in the workplace. Those asked were in the working age of 18-65 years and country to belief more young workers up to the age of 35 years voted against workplace romance.

The UK is one of the top 14 countries with a workaholic culture. We partake in more overtime, and take less holiday then some of our closer relatives such as France.  With so much of our time at work and our fellow colleagues understanding and sympathising with work pressures it is inevitable that relationships occur.

The positive to workplace dating is that you can stay away from all the dating apps and awkward meetings. You already know your co-workers, there is no difficult first date chatter to think about. You can get to know your co-workers and romance can bloom far easier and safer then via a dating app or meeting in a nightclub.

workplace love quotes

The bad comes when others find out. When the rumour mill begins you need to be particularly hardy to withstand the backlash and also the opposition. Others may think your relationship results in favouritism and that you do not work as hard as others in the company. You may find you are treated differently by co-workers who decline to tell you their woes through fear you will tell the boss.

On the subject of workers dating superiors it opens up a can of worms when referring to harassment and discrimination. For example, giving raises/promotions to a subordinate simply because of a relationship he/she has with a superior or the perception of the relationship having an impact exists. 

For or against here are some helpful tips to make dating in the workplace as successful as possible:

  1. Stop coupling up every day

If you go to lunch everyday with your partner you run the risk of becoming ‘that couple’ the clique that no other employees can break. Limit it to once a week and make it a treat.

  1. Don’t be intimate at work

It’s tempting to drop a ‘love you’ ending to your email, to sign off with a kiss or to simply  send a dirty joke to your loved one but remember where you are. Would you do this if you were not dating your co-worker? Keep a strict line on what you message each other it can be seen by the forces that be.

  1. Work is not Extended Quality Time
    it is important to keep work relationships professional. Limit the small talk and public shows of affection. Not only will it mean you are seen as more professional and therefore more respected at work it will help to ensure you keep the spark in your private relationship.
  2. Go public

As tempting as it is to keep your relationship a secret in the long run it can cause more problems than necessary. Be honest with your boss or HR and anyone else who you think needs to know. Squash the rumours before they start and reassure your co-workers that you will be working as normal and that nothing changes.

  1. Career or Love?

If you are looking to step into management and your relationship could jeopardise your career or credibility then seriously think about the future. If you see the relationship moving forward then consider one of you getting a new job eliminating the issue of working together or at least changing departments.

  1. Keep it on the down low

So he leaves his socks on the bedroom floor and you clog the plug hole with your hair when showering, no one needs to know. Avoid making innocent co-workers squirm in embarrassment at your domestic life stories of being in a relationship. No everyone will see your co-worker as attractive as you do.

  1. Check company policy

Generally, policies cover not only employees, but also contractors, vendors, suppliers, manufacturers, and the like.  Essentially, any relationship between two people that could have a negative effect on the company if things sour, or if one party is able to improperly influence the other would fall under the policy.

Some companies run a notification policy, which simply means you need to report when you are in a relationship with a college. Other companies in the USA have gone as far as to draw up ‘Love Contracts’ for the dating co-workers stating what is expected and boundaries the company will set. Either way every company needs to consider a policy on workplace dating. Without a clear policy, an office relationship can lead to charges of sexual harassment and legal consequences for the employer.