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As Valentine’s Day approaches, there’s an uptick in whiteboard hearts and watercooler gossip.
Love is in the air alright, but chances are, it’s been there all year long: 56% of business professionals say they’ve been in relationships with coworkers.
In some states, privacy laws prevent an employer from restricting employee relationships—unless a conflict of interest is involved.
A romantic relationship between a supervisor and subordinate provides the potential for a conflict and the opportunity for the employer to require a love contract.
Bloomberg Business reports that National Public Radio, Princeton Review, Pixar, and Southwest Airlines encourage in-house matchmaking for these reasons.
In fact, Southwest Airlines counts 7% of its staff with spouses who also work for the company.
Fraternization occurs when two people employed by the same company interact socially outside of work and at employer functions.“You get to see people at their best and at their worst,” says Helen Olen, co-author of . what’s important to you, you get to see in an office.” This differs from casual meetups at bars or online where people may show only certain sides of themselves.Office relationships often also rise out of office friendships, in which mutual trust is already present.When a workplace relationship goes south, the parties involved must still see each other every day in the office.This can lead to awkward encounters, and the potential for claims of sexual harassment and retaliation.
In our lifetimes, we’ll spend 90,000 hours at our jobs, and we build organic relationships with the people we see everyday.