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Workplace romances: good or bad?

Workplace romances have, both, risk and reward
Workplace romances have, both, risk and reward
Photo by: Luca Cinacchio

Workplace – the place where you do a job; a job that you perform to earn money. Romance – an expressive and pleasurable feeling from an emotional attraction/attachment to a person other than oneself. The workplace of today has become the place where most people spend the majority of their awake hours of their day. Ironically, it is often their least desired place to be. There is, also, irony within today’s romances. Healthy romances are one of society’s most desired (often coveted) delicacies of life; however, it is one that is deprived of the proper time and effort needed to build one. These factors are the key elements on the forming of workplace romances. If you spend enough time around the same people, feelings/emotions are bound to rise and bonds are bound to form. And when this takes place within the workplace, there are three major areas that are destined to be affected: enthusiasm, productivity, and treatment.

When a person has romantic feelings towards another, their attitude is generally positive and uplifting. This positivity carries over to their attitude towards their workplace and the other employees there. They are usually excited and look forward to going to work due to the anticipation of interacting with their romance. The downside comes with the breakdown of a romance. Once a breakdown in romance occurs, the excitement and motivation to work declines, possibly due to embarrassment, anger, awkwardness, etc.
Productivity could easily be the area where the impact is the deepest due to the risk/reward factor of being a productive employee. When working as an individual, you try harder to complete your tasks well and in a timely manner. Why? There are three reasons why. First, you want to have more time to interact with your romance (if possible). Two, you want your romance to view you as a competent and intelligent person. Three, if your superiors are aware of the romance, you don’t want them to have any reason to believe you can’t perform your work duties due to your romance. But working quickly could be detrimental. You may be too mentally/emotionally focused on your romance where the quality of your work starts to decline. You may even be so wrapped up in your romance to the point where you don’t perform any work at all. In a group/teamwork setting where you and your romance are working together, you and your romance naturally have positive attitudes towards common interests and goals, leading you to be more creative and efficient in performing your work duties. However, the romance may cause you to become competitive, and your focus turns towards “outdoing” your romance rather than doing a good job.

As your workplace romance strives/dives, so does your treatment of your coworkers and their treatment of you. The striving romance induces a positive attitude and mood within you. You are more positive towards your coworkers and their work as well. You are more apt to have positive interactions, including being more comfortable and cooperative in work-related matters. You may, also, become more cordial to your romance’s friends within the workplace and vice versa. Once the romance starts to dive, the complete opposite may occur. Your attitude has the potential to become negative towards the person you had feelings for and other coworkers. If the other person works in a different department, you may be less willing to work with the other employees in that department. If you and the other person have mutual coworker friends, they (the friends) may be placed in a place of confusion. They may not be comfortable in separating lines of friendship loyalty.

Emotions are inevitable. Feelings are inevitable. They are no respecter of any one person; however, the person can respect their emotions and feelings, regardless of what environment/setting they are in. If and when a romance develops, you must respectfully consider the effects it will have on you, the other person, any other people that could possibly be effected, and the environment; especially, within a workplace environment.