Relationships at work

Office romance: 6 rules of romance at work

From this article, you’ll learn how and why to disrupt formal work relationships, and is it time to have an affair with your boss (if, of course, he’s a she)?

“All the scientific theories of psychology on the nature of love confirm: working together is the best detonator of sympathy, falling in love and even passion,” says Amy Nicole Salvaggio, assistant professor of psychology at the University of New Haven, and looks sadly at an older, handsome colleague passing by.

The cost of production

If you think about it, offices (and other workplaces) are literally made for love. After all, they are filled with male and female beings who spend eight hours a day working side by side, eating lunch together, and sometimes having parties. There’s a dress code, literally demanding that you look attractive; coolers and candy machines where you can meet; secluded corners. Should we be surprised when the next floor mates wake up under the same blanket?

“Employers today have already accepted that office romances are an unavoidable cost of production,” states Fairfield University management professor Lisa Meiniero. – Usually the bosses just turn a blind eye to such things, unless, of course, they are in any way detrimental to the workplace.

Well, that’s good news, because meeting girls in a club, bar, or on the street requires more ingenuity, artistry, and charisma from you. To begin with, in the office you are completely sober (well, at least most of the time). And here you have much more time to show your best side.

Any work team is the same as a school class or a group at university. The only difference is that it consists of older and more sophisticated men and women.

In other words, it is another community in which friendship and sex are separated by a very fine line. To find out how to cross this line, psychology professor David Bass traveled halfway around the world. He studied 37 different communities – from villages in the Sahara desert to modern cities in the United States and Europe – and realized one thing. Wherever Bass found himself, the most popular with the weaker sex were powerful and successful men. So, games with children and puppies in the park aside, you can’t look more attractive to the weaker sex anywhere than in your workplace, especially if you have subordinates and a talent for solving difficult problems with ease.

Accomplishments at work and beyond

It turns out, working well, you kill two birds with one stone: make a career and gain points in the eyes of colleagues in the skirts. The more ambitious and smarter you seem to them, the more their sympathy increases.

At work, every potential life friend is like the palm of your hand. This is not a blind date, and there is no hiding a skeleton in the closet. You will see how she deals with stress, how she manages her time, how she behaves in conflict situations, and if you have a custom to bring food from home – even what and how she cooks. In all other cases, this information becomes available only when you already live with her.

Being able to get to know someone well before you start dating is a huge perk of workplace romances. But love at work also has its own unwritten rules

Most men learn them by going through trials, mistakes, public humiliation, and even losing their jobs. But we have a better suggestion: How about learning from the mistakes of others? Let’s take the example of Danila (we changed his name, as we did all the other names in the article).

Dating your boss – keep it a secret

Danila met Lisa when he was 23 and she was 29, but the difference in their position on the career ladder was much steeper. While some people’s bosses were grouchy old men, Danila got a redheaded beauty with luscious calves. In general, he fell in love and she did not, but she did not object to the friendship.

They talked a lot, had lunch together, and one day after the party Danila walked Lisa home and woke up in her bedroom the next morning. Seems like an ordinary story, but it can seriously ruin your life.

80% of HR specialists and 60% of office workers think that romance between superiors and subordinates should be forbidden. The obvious reason is that colleagues start to distrust people who have an affair with a manager. Many believe that lovers of supervisors enjoy certain privileges.

Out-of-staff relationships also do not benefit those at the top (we are not talking about sex, but about the position in the office hierarchy). One such love affair – and when choosing a candidate for an even higher position, the amorous candidate would be preferred to the one who is not known for his slanderous relations. And the real reason for the rejection will not be told to the unsuccessful candidate, which will only worsen his condition.

Break up quietly

We don’t want to ruin your buzz, but no matter how great your new relationship may seem, it doesn’t have much chance of surviving. More than 60 percent of service couples break up within the first year-and often with scandals. How to avoid this?

The optimal option is on the first date (yes, the first date) to discuss how your breakup might be handled. It may sound strange, but it is a step that will protect you from possible problems in the future. When you are in love and in a positive mood, the breakup conversation can be couched in jocular form, and thus find out how your new girlfriend sees life after sex. However, Danila and Lisa’s romance ended before it had even begun.

She decided to “stay friends.” Often in this situation, the guy goes on the attack: tons of flowers, serenades and artistic painting of the asphalt under the windows of his beloved. In the office, such behavior will end with a call to the personnel department, so it’s easier to back off. It sounds pathetic, but Danila did exactly that (and rightly so!).

He soon became convinced that he was right. Another “front couple” in their office vividly demonstrated how not to behave. They were on and off, yelling and screaming at each other, or cuddling in the stairwell. From the outside it looked like a lowbrow soap opera, which was watched and discussed by the entire team.

Be cool at work.

The best thing you can do for your career – is once and for all forbid himself to have intimate conversations with his girlfriend during working hours. Even if she’s sitting at the next desk and you know she’s not wearing any underwear.

The habit of keeping your personal life behind the threshold of the office especially comes in handy for arguments. “If something goes wrong, you won’t figure things out at work on a reflex level because you’re already used to keeping them out of the room,” coaxes family therapist and author of “The Unofficial Guide to Reconnecting,” Tina Tessina.

Yes, we know it’s nearly impossible. Still, it’s better to wait until home.

It’s not just a matter of breaking taboos and cameras planted everywhere. Too explicit displays of affection can irritate your colleagues, and extra enemies have never been good for your career. Maybe the accountant’s husband just left her, the IT guy had sex only with himself, and the chubby department head hasn’t let his wife have sex for a year. Your lustful face will be worse than a red rag to them, and yes, they will retaliate. So you better stop grabbing your mistress by the knees and giggling foolishly.

No one-night stands.

Remember Danila? The one who slept with the chief and then got turned away. If this one-time sex had happened with a couple who met in a club, they would have just broken up, but it doesn’t work that way with a workplace romance. The same morning yesterday’s lovers met at work, and then the next morning and so on. A more foolish situation is hard to imagine.

This is roughly what happened with Max and Alice. They quickly went from chatting at the water cooler to sitting at the bar after work, and then to touching feet under the table during meetings. In this case, the lady already took what was going on seriously, and Max broke off the relationship immediately after the contact.

Now every day Alice saw Max, and every day he flirted, but no longer with her. Fortunately, it did not come to a loud scandal, but this is not always the case. Both spurned men and spurned women often break the roof. According to the Journal of Neurophysiology, a painful breakup activates the same areas of the brain that are activated in addicts during withdrawal. So if you decide to just have fun and your partner thinks sex is the beginning of great love, you could end up making a dangerous and unpredictable enemy.

Think about her reputation

Be prepared for a coworker with whom you’re having an affair to start panicking, “What will people think?” In fact, there’s not much to guess. Unfortunately, in such affairs, society almost always evaluates the man less strictly than the woman. You will look like a heartbreaker and a real man, while she can cling to any label of four or five letters.

This is another reason to think twice before the smoking room or a cup of coffee in a sleazy way to share with guys the juicy details of his love victories. Remember: novels at work often lead to one of the lovers is easier to quit than to be a hero of the office folklore.

Protect your good name

As convinced of his own experience, 32-year-old Igor, who met at work, first with Sonia, and then with Natalia, the label donzhuana can stick for a long time. When one of the recruiting sites published an announcement that he was leaving for another company, on the same day under the publication was a comment: “Mind you, he sleeps with everyone!

So it is better not to abuse office romances and make them only if there are serious feelings. By the way, remember Danila and Lisa? The first time he was in her bed, the relationship did not work out. But since then he has gone to another company, made a decent leap in both position and money. And today, ten years later, he wakes up in that bed every morning.

Office romance or what are the dangers of a relationship at work. What’s the right way to behave?

I have a 7-year journalistic background. I am an excellent judge of media-information flow, including the analysis of foreign sources.

Expert – Margarita Lopukhova

Family psychologist. For eight years I have been saving “family units” from disintegration. I help couples regain love and understanding.

Office romance is a hot topic, which in decent society is usually kept quiet. Relationships between colleagues do not always develop beautifully and end well. On the contrary, in most cases, love affairs at work lead at least to a bad reputation, and at most to dismissal. The stares of colleagues, constant nervousness and the thought “what if they catch you?”, this is what accompanies lovers in the course of their relationship. Despite this, an affair at work is a desirable forbidden fruit that stirs the imagination (and not only).

Statistical data

According to statistics, more than 80% of Russian bosses are against their employees having an affair in the workplace. Managers explain this by the fact that romances of this kind provoke conflicts, reduce efficiency and have a negative effect on the overall mood of the team. Many bosses are ready to fire both participants in romantic relationships, some agree with the fact that it is necessary to be guided by circumstances.

At the same time, about 57% of Russians are ready to have a relationship at work. Of course, statistical data cannot fully reflect the real situation. But in sociological surveys, statistics carry the most weight and serve as the main argument.

In America, by the way, more than half of the people have had an office affair. Unfortunately, there are no statistics showing how such relationships usually ended.

But there is evidence that most bosses are negative about this topic. And it is very reasonably.

The main disadvantages of an office romance from the management’s point of view.

First, the company incurs financial losses, while lovers coo instead of dealing with work issues. Every extra five minutes in the smoking room or canteen is a loss to the organization. It only seems like a small thing, but in fact, if you multiply all those five-minute romantic breaks by the number of work days per year, you get an impressive figure. And it’s even better if the lovers do not cross paths and do not go out during working hours.

Secondly, sincere falling in love has a negative effect on performance. There are relations of convenience at work, and there are banal and romantic connections. These lead to the fact that colleagues are in the clouds and can not think about anything other than the object of his lust. The situation is complicated by the fact that the object sits at the next desk or in the closest office. Such proximity excites (and the quarterly report suffers).

Thirdly, other colleagues can easily find out about the affair. And not so much because of the burning eyes, but because of the banal coincidence. This can lead to a variety of conflicts, which will suffer the whole team.

In this case, it is worth considering only the relationship of equal colleagues. The affair of a subordinate and a supervisor is a separate topic.

Why start an office romance?

The question at first glance may seem strange, but in fact, most novels at work are conceived for specific reasons.

There may be three in total:

  • Self-serving goals. Some people initiate relationships in the workplace in order to advance their careers or to dump some of their responsibilities on the other person. Women often commit this sin, but sometimes men resort to this method. As a rule, young professionals have affairs with their bosses, expecting to receive a lot of privileges.
  • The desire to taste the forbidden fruit. Relationships at work are an unspoken taboo, the violation of which is quite risky for both participants in the process. Some people are simply exhilarated by it. Gamblers and thrill-seekers are eager to start an affair with the bosses or colleagues. They are not guided by romantic feelings, but the desire and desire to break certain prohibitions. As a rule, such personalities are not careful and constantly expose themselves and their partner to risk.
  • Strong feelings. This reason is far from the most common of those listed. As a rule, behind a conditional crush there is a passion, caused by excitement and risk. In rare cases, sincere feelings between colleagues are established, which are caused by the presence of common (in particular, work) interests and mutual sympathy. This arrangement can be called the most favorable, because people in love can calculate the risks and meet mostly outside of working hours.

Before having an affair at work, you need to understand the reasons for the sympathy or passion between the two colleagues. Sometimes the real motives lurk much deeper. For example, an aging and married boss can, roughly speaking, “want” a young subordinate because of the midlife crisis. Such an approach will help the person assert himself at the expense of his own power and privileged position. The young subordinate, in turn, will benefit in other ways-a raise in salary or position.

It is also necessary to designate for yourself the boundaries of the relationship at work. It can be a romantic alliance or just “well-intentioned” sex. There is no need to have deceptive illusions and to lead your colleague astray, because in the end it can easily turn out to be unpleasant.

An affair between colleagues

There are two common scenarios for workplace romances between peers. People may work closely together on common tasks (e.g., working on the same project). They become close because of the time they spend together. Despite the work goals, colleagues get to know each other better on a personal level.

The opposite situation is also possible: when people see each other only during a break or in the canteen, exchanging glances and short remarks. In this case, it is inaccessibility and mystery that attracts them. Colleagues can work in different buildings and rarely see each other, but still have inexplicable (at first glance) sympathy.

It is worth imagining that in both situations, people first develop a relationship and then break up.

If they are constantly interacting with each other, it will create a huge discomfort and work disagreement. In that case, there are two ways out: fire one or reconcile both. In practice, both options usually fall away, as a result of which adults arrange an office “war”, trying to somehow molest and take revenge.

If colleagues rarely interact on business matters and work in different offices, then the outcome of the relationship turns out to be much more favorable. Former lovers simply do not see each other, due to which there is no conflict as such.

Important: Do not hope that you will be able to part as friends or as good friends. It is necessary to initially calculate the ways of retreat in case of a worst-case scenario. The ideal option: after the first night spent together to discuss the consequences of a possible parting.

Rules of an affair between colleagues

Relationships between colleagues will not interfere with work, if both partners will observe the following rules:

  • Convergence outside of work hours. Yes, the work environment encourages having sex in the bathroom or at least flirting during your lunch break. But it’s better to look at the situation rationally. If you already have a relationship, it is better to develop it exclusively outside of the workplace. Otherwise, the partners will sooner or later run into trouble.
  • Limiting yourself to one affair. By building a relationship with one woman and another, a man risks gaining a bad reputation in the long term. You can twist a few intrigues and leave the company, but do not forget about the existence of the Internet: it is he who will help the former mistresses to spoil the virtual resume of the unsuccessful lover. The same works in relation to women. If there is a desire to have an affair in the workplace (even if for the sake of thrills), then you should limit yourself to one. And certainly should not meet with several colleagues in the same time interval.
  • Calculate the risks. There is no need to get involved with vindictive and vindictive people. You should not create the appearance of falling in love, if it does not exist. In a relationship with a colleague, honesty and straightforwardness is necessary, as well as the absence of “rose-colored glasses. It is necessary to designate in advance the boundaries, norms of behavior and other nuances, which will greatly facilitate communication during working hours.

It is extremely important at the beginning of communication with a colleague not to mistake benevolence for flirting. Some people (especially if they are new to the team) tend to be overly friendly. They may bring coffee, smile, ask about the well-being, but do not nurture an ounce of personal sympathy. Here you need to be able to distinguish between excessive courtesy and flirting.

The relationship between the employee and the boss

It is worth imagining the situation: a young girl and a middle-aged boss (usually married). Most female employees have a relationship with the leadership in the hope of a promotion or raise in salary. Many men understand this and just start a mutually beneficial affair. Such a relationship may well exist in secret and give pleasure to both partners.

Much worse if the subordinate falls in love with the boss, and he goes along with it. Once the relationship ends, the girl will start to threaten, terrorize and take all kinds of revenge on her former lover. She may tell about the affair to her wife (if there is one), to rasp the staff and superiors.

Relationship between a boss and an employee

This is a much more interesting and rare situation. As a rule, the subordinate is seized by the idea of sleeping with his boss. Much less often a man wants to have a full-fledged relationship with her. The subordinate is attracted to the power, unattainability, and sexuality of the woman “at the helm. As soon as he gets what he wants, his interest cools.

Self-serving goals may also be involved in such relationships. Often men as much as women want to move up the career ladder, without making much effort. The easiest option – to have a relationship with the boss.

The rules of the relationship between the boss and the employee

According to statistics, more than 60% of people consider romances between supervisors and employees unacceptable. Participants in all sorts of surveys vote for such relationships to be banned at the legislative level.

Accordingly, such romances have strict rules that must be adhered to:

  • No publicity. Both partners must understand that their relationship cannot be advertised in any way. If a coworker tells colleagues over a cup of tea about having great sex with his boss, those same colleagues will soon turn on each other and demand that they both be fired. And there’s nothing surprising about that. People believe that an employee who has an affair with a boss (or a supervisor) is entitled to unwarranted privileges.
  • No chutzpah. An employee who is in a relationship with a superior should not allow himself to come in later than others and leave earlier. Nor should he (or she) be allowed an extra 10 minutes for a smoke break and outright rudeness in the workplace. Otherwise, colleagues will quickly figure out what is going on.
  • No breakups on the part of the employee. Unfortunately, breaking up a relationship in most cases is the equivalent of being fired. The employee is in a more vulnerable position, so he or she should protect themselves in advance. It’s best to wait until the other partner wants to break up the relationship. Another option for the subordinate is to look for another job just before the affair ends.

The relationship between a manager and an employee is walking on a knife edge. At any moment, one of the colleagues may suspect wrongdoing and raspash the rest. Therefore, partners need to be as coded as possible.

A subordinate should not too often “dive” into the office of the boss. The head, in turn, should not show excessive loyalty and isolate the protégé among the other employees (especially for no reason).

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