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"if u want to accomplish anything keep ur head towards the stars and never look behind" - Polly

Office Romance

  • Date Submitted: 09/10/2013 03:49 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 64 
  • Words: 450
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What should you do if your employees fall in love with one another?

Most people have very strong views on this subject. Those who are opposed argue that romantic attachments disturb the equilibrium of the workplace, interfere with professionalism, and unnecessarily confuse work and pleasure. They are right about all of this, of course. Work-based romances do get complicated. But is work so important that you can expect those working for you to sacrifice their emotional well-being for it? If your vice president of sales fell in love with a cubicle neighbor, could you seriously contend that work must come first?

According to CareerBuilder.com's annual romance-in-the-office survey, 39 percent of workers have dated a colleague and 30 percent of those got married. I'm just surprised the number is so low. We know that similar people (not opposites) attract. Statistically, you are highly likely to marry someone whose eyes, hair, height, body shape, and life experiences closely mirror your own. It's what psychologists call positive assortative mating, and all it means is that humans are drawn to people who are similar to themselves--those who make them feel comfortable and safe. Though straying out of that comfort zone may happen occasionally, such forays rarely end in matrimony.

Add to all that the fact that occupation choice says a huge amount about people: what they enjoy and value. As such, your employees are all highly likely to find they work alongside people who share their tastes and preferences. Who would be surprised that some of those people are attractive in other ways, too?

I met my first husband at work. I'm afraid we conformed to all the statistics: roughly the same everything, including initials. Dating while working in the same department was stressful because it felt so visible, because meetings were tremendously distracting. When we got married, we felt we had to invite the whole department. And when, years later, my husband died, I felt as...

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