Do You Have an Interoffice Dating Policy and Guidelines?

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According to a 2013 survey of 8,000 workers by the job-search website CareerBuilder.com, 4 out of 10 employees have dated someone they work with. Valentine's Day it's a great time to look at your interoffice dating policy on workplace romances.

With more singles in the workforce spending a majority of their day at the office, it's no wonder this number is so high. The survey also revealed that 72% of those workers did not try to hide their relations- compared to 46% in 2010. This large percentage could be attributed to the fact that millennials are more comfortable with office romances then baby boomers were. Office romance policies are different at every organization.

However, there are some questions to consider to make sure there are no discrepancies in your office.

  • Do you have a policy in place?
  • How does it define the limits to relationships between employees?
  • Has this issue come up recently among your employees?
  • Should you consider implementing one? 

What are companies doing?

According to a 2013 survey conducted my SHRM, 54% of organizations do not have a policy in place when it comes to interoffice dating. However, that amount is up 42% since 2005, where that number was only up 25%. 

What are some guidelines?

Of the amount surveyed, an astounding 99% of organization's that allowed interoffice dating did not allow them between a supervisor and a direct report.

45% of office romances between employees of different rank were permitted. And 35% allowed a romantic relationship between employees who reported to the same supervisor.

The survey also suggested why conflict arises with interoffice relationships, such as:

  • Co-workers gossiping
  • The perception that the employee is climbing the corporate ladder to get ahead
  • If the relationship doesn't work out- will there be tension in the office?

If there is a conflict of interest, organization's report that they have handled situations by transferring one of the employees to another department (34%) and 32% offer counseling to the couples and their supervisor to resolve the best way to move forward.

HR, compliance, termination, or compensation questions?

ERC has a team of HR Help Desk Advisors to provide timely and trusted answers.

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