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Workplace romance - the pros and cons

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Introduction

Workplace romance - the pros and cons Nowadays, organizations are facing the problem of office romance. People are spending most of their time at work and relationships naturally develop. The article presented describes the implication of workplace romance and some of its consequences. The objective of this essay is to undertake an in-depth analysis of office romance focusing on two organizational behaviour concepts stress at work and sexuality. As we can see from the article ''The Ethics of Office Romance'' by Bruce Weinstein (see appendix 1) love is an emotion that can produce as many negative as positive feelings, and it can affect not only those in the relationship but also other workers that are not directly involved in it. Notions of masculinity and femininity, and moreover sexual attraction between workers are inevitable. However, a failed relationship at work could lead to stress, reflects employees' judgment, creates conflicts among co-workers which leads to sexual harassment and hostile work environment, gradually decreasing the productivity level. Organizations are confronting with this issue, trying to find solutions about it while considering the possible consequences that workplace relationships involve and also pay attention not to breach human rights. On the other hand, an office romance might also have some positive effects over employees. It might increase people's desire to work, stimulate their creativity which could be beneficial for the business as a whole. Workplace romance is defined as an intimate relationship between two individuals who are working together, in the same work location, or the same company. The most common idea about this type of relationship is that it is too risky, unnecessary and can lead mainly to pain and stressful atmosphere. It is quite sensible that in the article ''The Ethics of Office Romance'' the all-important question is what happens when/if the relationship ends? Breaking up is never easy and is often quite dramatic, so there is no need the colleagues to know about it and then gossiping about a failed relationship. ...read more.

Middle

For instance, even if the focus is on only a small continent such as Europe, still there could be observed completely different attitudes. Two individuals from the Northern World working together, are more likely to control their expression of emotions and romantic feelings and to separate business from pleasure. While in Spain or the Balkans, where people are famous for their ardent temperament, any attempt of an organization aiming to ban romantic relationships at work would lead to confrontations and collapsing internal balance, and might cause a negative effect on the business in general. According to Dr Terry Kellard from the University of Warwick "The organization is a natural arena for romance. Men and women are brought together and encouraged to form close relationships. And if people have a relationship, they work better together and have higher motivation. Trying to prevent that is just one of those unenforceable laws." In this train of thought, it is very difficult for an organization to ban dating in the workplace not only because of the possibility of breaking human rights but also because emotions and feelings are not that easily controlled. Shakespeare wrote ''love is blind and lovers cannot see''. Although most people know that office romance contains potential for distraction, stress and sometimes sexual harassment, when one falls in love, he or she becomes unaware of all those negative consequences. Human beings, regardless of their sexuality, tend to implicate emotions in every sphere of their activities. Any effort performed by a single person to restrict those feelings leads to inner conflict which severely diminishes an individual's ability to concentrate on the work and consequently decreases the level of productivity. As can be seen from the second paragraph in the article, individuals spend many hours working and appreciate their co-workers in a very different situation, so one might notice many other things about a particular person that he or she would not have the chance to see if they meet in a bar, or at a party. ...read more.

Conclusion

Can your boss? We all know of a couple that met under inauspicious circumstances (boss/assistant, professor/student, therapist/patient), and today they are happily married or have been living in a committed relationship for many years. To borrow an expression from jurisprudence, however, hard cases make bad law. Just because a few folks here and there have been able to overcome the odds does not mean this practice is, for most people, wise, healthy, or ethical. BUT IF YOU MUST You may still find yourself irresistibly drawn to someone at work and, in spite of the above arguments, you intend to follow your heart (or whatever). I propose the following guidelines for such circumstances: 1. Proceed with your eyes wide open. Be prepared to accept the consequences, whether or not the relationship succeeds. If co-workers complain or your work suffers, you may have to be transferred to another department, or you may even lose your job, so have a backup plan for employment. 2. Be discreet. Even if everyone in the office knows love is in the air, do your best to avoid PDAs (i.e., public displays of affection, not personal digital assistants. I'll discuss those distractions in a future column). 3. Just don't do it if the object of your affection is your boss or assistant. There is no good way to effectively handle such relationships other than preventing them from happening in the first place. In the workplace, the duties to do no harm, be respectful, and be fair mean we ought to think carefully about how our actions can affect our employer, our co-workers, and ourselves. Thus, there are good reasons to turn down Cupid's call for a chance at romance on the job. When Freud suggested that work and love are the two essential components of a happy life, I don't think he meant that we should find them in the same place. ...read more.

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