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“You can get a reputation, whether it’s earned or not,” Brownlee says.When a situation arises that benefits an employee while affecting your company, it becomes a conflict of interest.“It can make for a very uncomfortable situation,” she says Whitmore.
Know Your Company’s Policy Before the First Date Some companies have very strict rules about relationships, and you should understand those boundaries—and the possible consequences of crossing them.
“Of course we know those policies aren’t always adhered to,” says Jacqueline Whitmore, founder of etiquetteexpert.com, “but it certainly should be considered, especially if there’s a policy that says, ‘We won’t hire married couples.'” In other words, assuming you think this relationship could get serious enough to get to the altar, you could end up having to choose between your lover and your livelihood. Of people surveyed by Workplace Options, 57% said they’d opt to protect their career, but 43% said they would lean towards leaving their jobs.
The key is that you guys are on the same page.” You’ll also want to make sure you set some boundaries about how much time you spend together in the office in order to actively manage your coworkers’ and managers’ perceptions.
No one thought anything of a random chat you two had in your office before the relationship, but now it can be misconstrued as a social call or, even worse, a risky-business meeting.
So what are some examples of situations your employees might find themselves in?
Unfortunately, employees aren’t always able to recognize these conflicts of interest because many times the situation seems innocent or they don’t realize what’s happening is against the code of conduct.
And a whopping 31% of office relationships result in marriage—meaning they can’t always be a bad idea, right?
Here’s how to make sure pursuing love won’t cost you your job: Avoid Getting Involved with the Wrong Person According to the Career Builder survey, 24% of intra-office relationships were with someone higher up in the organization.
Perhaps that makes sense given the amount of time we spend at work: In an office relationship, you can relate to the struggles someone faces from 9 to 5, says Brownlee.
That’s not easy to do with a spouse or partner who works in a different field.
Consider the Worst-Case Scenario With 7% of respondents to the Career Builder survey saying they had to leave a job after a breakup, you’ll be glad you did some critical thinking before jumping into any new relationship with a colleague.