Why workplace romances are on the rise

Common lore would have us believe that it is never a good idea to mix business with pleasure, but it would seem that we’ll make an exception to the rule when it comes to looking for love.

According to a recent study by the Society of Human Resource Management, at least a third of US workers would agree, saying that they’re currently involved or have, at one time or another, been involved in a workplace romance.

With the average employee spending a minimum of 37 hours per week at work, is it any wonder that it’s one of the most common places to meet a romantic partner?

After all, where else do you truly get to know someone, seeing how they interact with others; whether they have any truly heinous habits, or how many days in the row they consider it acceptable to wear the same jumper?

microsoft, why workplace romances are on the rise

Pic: Getty

Essential info

It might seem surprising, too, that the instances of workplace romance have increased since the pandemic, but if you really think about it, it makes sense; all of those months, working from home, with little to no contact with anyone else? There are very few of us who didn’t emerge from the lockdown period feeling at least a little thirsty for human affection.

Not to mention the fact that TV and film have truly conspired to make the office romance seem like a great time altogether: Mulder and Scully in The X-Files, Jim and Pam in The Office, David and Patrick in Schitt’s Creek, even Bridget Jones and Daniel Cleaver. Okay, that last one didn’t go all that well, even if, arguably, it looked like fun, at least at the very beginning.

So what should you bear in mind, if you’re considering taking your workplace friendship up a notch––and will it damage your career?

microsoft, why workplace romances are on the rise

pic: getty

Think twice, a la Celine Dion

A torrid affair with a colleague is not something to be entered into lightly. You’ll have to see this person in the office every day or, if you’re working remotely, on Zoom; you will not be able to draw a line under this romance and forget they ever existed, should things quickly go south. An intra-office romance is not something to be embarked upon without some serious prior consideration. If you’re looking for a casual fling, you may be better off looking elsewhere.

Know the rules

Many employers have explicit rules forbidding romantic relationships between colleagues, so check whether your contract contains a no-office-romance rule, and if it does, try to find out if anyone else has ever fallen afoul of it. McDonald’s, for example, let its CEO go in 2019 for an entirely consensual, albeit “inappropriate” relationship with a colleague.

In Ireland, you’re not obliged to disclose anything about your personal relationships, but, if a relationship is compromising your ability to do your job, or getting in the way of it, you may well be better off disclosing to your manager or HR team.

microsoft, why workplace romances are on the rise

Pic: Getty

Talk it through

Consider this like a kind of workplace prenup; if the higher-ups in the office disapprove of your union, is either one of you willing to go elsewhere for work?

What about if you break up: who gets the office, and who has to move on? A workplace romance is not a relationship to get into lightly, and while any other romance might be left to develop at its own pace, you may just have to get a little uncomfortable having these serious chats before it’s too late and you’re crying into your laptop.

microsoft, why workplace romances are on the rise

Pic: Getty

If it’s too late for all of that, and you’ve found yourself unhappily on the other side of the office romance, it might be time for you to bite the bullet and move on.

Here are some current roles worth considering on the Evoke Job Board.

Compensation & Benefits Manager, Version 1, Cork

IT solutions company Version 1 is hiring a Compensation & Benefits Manager to join its team in Cork. You’ll design, implement and manage all compensation and benefit programmes and processes across multiple locations, as well as proactively monitor market trends and financial aspects of the company’s compensation, benefits and rewards programmes to ensure cost-effectiveness and market competitiveness. A minimum of seven years’ experience in finance, compensation or human resources, with an in-depth knowledge of core compensation terminology and best practice is required. See all of the details of this role here.

Inventory & Compliance Coordinator, Glanbia Foods, Kilkenny

Glanbia Foods is hiring an Inventory & Compliance Coordinator to support the Inventory Manager at its innovation centre in Ballyragget. You will support and coordinate inventory across internal and external warehouses, liaising closely with auditors to build a strong compliance culture within the inventory process, as well as maintaining SOPs and KPIs for the warehousing function. As well as knowledge of stock management and control, and excellent interpersonal skills, you will be proficient in SAP and Microsoft Office, particularly Excel and Outlook. Apply for this job now.

Regional Manager (Ireland), Deliveroo, Dublin

Deliveroo, the online food delivery company, is hiring a Regional Manager to lead a team of Deliveroo managers, ideally based either in Dublin or in Belfast. You will develop the strategy to grow order volume and market share, while managing the profitability of the department. You’ll need a minimum of seven years’ experience in commercially focused roles, and you will be a highly analytical individual who is comfortable handling negotiations with business owners and C-suite operators, and who has a mix of both strategy and execution experience. Get all the details here.Check out a range of roles in a wide variety of industries all across Ireland on the Evoke Job Board

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