Online dating at work
As we head towards February 14th, it’s a good a time as any to refresh ourselves on how to deal with workplace relationships. Online dating has long proven the effectiveness of dating remotely and there is a real possibility of this happening within an organisation.
Whether employees are keeping it secret or openly being in relationships, it is important to strike the right balance between allowing their rights to a private life whilst ensuring they behave in an appropriate way at work; however successful or unsuccessful the relationship may become.
It is not necessary to have a policy for this, however it would be recommended to address any indiscretions and inform them that, during working hours:
- their relationships must not influence their conduct at work e.g. no kissing, cuddling, holding hands, or having discussions of a sexual nature (whether in person or online).
- no preferential or favourable treatment should be given to the person they are in a relationship with; nor should less favourable treatment be given if the relationship ends.
Relationships with direct reports or between differing hierarchies can be fraught with problems, so clear boundaries between work and personal life are required.
Whilst workplace romances are not against the law, certain behaviours could cross an ethical line, and could be considered harassment or discriminatory. Plus, a workplace relationship that turns sour can turn into an embarrassing situation for everyone involved, including the employer. Case in point: when McDonald’s fired its CEO after news of his consensual relationship with an employee became public.
If you need help with advice with the above or anything else people-related, please do get in touch with Lisa:
Lisa Trent is our HR guru
There really isn’t very much to do with people that she doesn’t know about! Whether it’s furloughing or people management, she’s on hand to help, but also listen.
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