February 13, 2020
This week we celebrate Valentine’s Day. Love is in the air, and a plethora of cards, roses, and chocolates abound both at home and work.
But what happens when the sweetness of relationships goes sour at work? In my corporate life, a woman leader allegedly entered into a romantic relationship with the CEO of the company. According to the rumor mill, the board got wind of the situation and eventually forced the woman leader to resign. What made this situation even more uncomfortable was that the CEO was already married!
In most instances, it’s hard to stop a romantic relationship at work. People spend more time at work than any other place, significantly increasing the odds of falling head over heels for a coworker. Sometimes it works out, as in the case of Melinda and Bill Gates. In fact, according to the survey, 31 percent of workers who dated at work ended up getting married. However, frequently it doesn’t work and, quite frankly, it can be very awkward—such as the case cited above.
In 2018, CareerBuilder released its annual Valentine’s Day survey, which revealed that office romance hit an all-time 10-year low. Thirty-six percent of workers reported dating a co-worker, down from 41 percent the prior year (and 40 percent in 2008).
The survey pointed to the current climate around sexual harassment as a factor driving down the number of workers dating coworkers.
But before you pick up that arrow and aim it at a prospective lover, here are some tips for navigating a workplace romance from Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder:
Everyone has a view about office romances. What’s yours? Good, bad or indifferent?