Love in the workplace isn’t just the stuff of TV sitcoms. According to a new survey, half of workers admit to having had romantic feelings about a colleague. Among other findings:
- Nearly one-fourth say they’ve asked out a coworker.
- Of those individuals who say they’ve dated a fellow employee, 76% say the object of their affection was a peer, 27% say they’ve dated a superior, and 21% attest to romancing a subordinate.
- 27% say they are in or have been in a workplace romance.
- 19% claim to have a “work spouse,” a coworker with who they have an emotionally close relationship.
It’s not too late to make a quick, pre-Valentine’s Day look at your policies and remind staff about what is and isn’t acceptable and appropriate. Some organizations have devised so-called “love contracts” that require couples who are coworkers to sign documents stating that their relationship is consensual and that they are aware of all ethics and sexual harassment policies. However, such contracts are difficult to defend in court. Instead, consider detailed, specific policies, such as those prohibiting relationships between managers and subordinates.