Office romances: Covid-19 isn’t the only thing in the air

Name the first three things that come to mind when you hear ‘Valentine’s Day’. If you said any of the following: pink, red, roses, chocolates, bubble baths, diamonds, teddy bears, candles, etc., you have probably never been introduced to the actual legend of St. Valentine

Long story short, according to legend, St. Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. Being the rebel he was, he began secretly performing marriages for young lovers after Claudius II outlawed marriage for young men (believing they made better soldiers when single as opposed to when married with children). Claudius II ordered St. Valentine be put to death when his actions were discovered.

Regardless of whether you associate Valentine’s Day with thriving love or dying love, it is still a day intended for celebrating romance, happiness and appreciation for those special people in all facets of your life.

As love floats around this year, keep in mind that office romances are no exception. Employees seek meaningful connections in the workplace (both in the office and remotely) just as often as, if not more than, they do in their personal lives.

Zoom, Microsoft Teams, 8×8, Outlook and any other internal communication tools your company utilizes are all platforms where potential HR violations may occur.

According to a 2020 survey, 58% of respondents said they have dated a coworker (with 75% admitting they tried to keep their relationship a secret).

But according to the same survey, 51% of office relationships end in a breakup. Most know from personal experience that breakups are not always peaceful and conflict-free. Office breakups are no different and may come coupled with chaos and drama, even with employees working at home.

Remember Love Contracts? They’re still a thing. Though they are more professionally known as Consensual Romance in The Workplace Contracts. Listed below are just a few of the contract terms that all parties would need to agree to:

  1. Recognize their employer as an Equal Opportunity Workplace
  2. Acknowledge their employer does not tolerate any form of harassment, abuse of power or discrimination
  3. Always remain professional and positive regardless of how the relationship ends
  4. Do not engage in PDA and/or any other actions that may create a hostile work environment
  5. Report any inappropriate behaviors to management

Get more info here.

We recommend putting some sort of policy in place for workplace relationships, if you have not already, or modifying your current policy to include work-from-home updates and changes.

Our HR professionals at Resourcing Edge are ready to partner with you and offer your business the human resources support it may need. All you have to do is make the first move. Trust us, this is the one corporate relationship that will not disappoint.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Stay safe out there.

Jacquelynn Entwistle

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