There are movies made about the subject and stories. Employers and employees are warned against it continuously, because most people see only bad outcomes possible. The subject is what happens when employers get involved with their employees romantically. A new person began work and the supervisor did not think about getting involved romantically, when he hired her, but once the person began the job things changed. They first began with light hearted harmless flirting such as picking on each other during breaks.
After a few months he began to call her into his office for conferences quite often. When her co-workers asked her if she was having a relationship with the boss, she would smile, but deny anything was happening between them. Her co-workers however noticed that she began to be assigned the best work and was rarely given anything that required time or stress, but she continued to deny the relationship. When the supervisor’s secretary caught them kissing in his office, they were no longer able to deny the relationship.
Instead of asking to be assigned to another supervisor, she continued working for him and they began to date publicly. They could be seen kissing and teasing each other playfully in the halls and the break room. Sometimes they would talk quietly with each other, while her co-workers were completing much of her work for her. Her relationship with her co-workers became very strained because many of them felt they had to cover her work for her, while she was busy flirting with the boss. Very few people talked to her and many of them completely tried to avoid her.
She and the boss were together most of every day. They would eat lunch together and leave together. Then he decided he was no longer interested in her, and ended the relationship. At that point her situation became very tense. He tried to avoid her and began to give her more difficult assignments that she was unable to complete. When she asked her co-workers for help, they refused to help her and told her she should have thought about what would happen when she was busy hanging out with the boss. She felt alienated by everyone and began to eat lunch at her desk instead of in the break room.
When the boss began dating someone else who would come in to meet him every day for lunch, the co-workers would giggle or whisper. Eventually she became upset with her job to the point that she needed to quit her job. This kind of relationship almost always ends badly and creates numerous problems in the work place. There are some rare occasions in which the couple get married and live happily ever after, but for most people a social psychology background should help them realize that relationships that overlap realms such as personal and workplace is an invitation for disaster.
In some cases it even ends in court, such as a case in which a prison employee took a warden to court for giving his girlfriend a promotion over the employee who had more experience and had earned the promotion (Segal, 2005). In spite of all the warnings in the media and from everyone who has had an office relationship, it continues to happen frequently. Approximately eighty percent of people state they have either been around or part of an office romance (Loftus, 1995).
Through studying social psychology, it becomes easier to understand that this kind of relationship happens, because aside from a person’s home, the workplace is where most people spend the majority of time and the people they work with are the people they see the most. It is natural to develop relationships with people at work. The problem comes in when these relationships either go bad or interfere with a professional working relationship. In order to gather more information about the office romance scenario, it would beneficial to observe a somewhat small office setting.
Large offices tend to be less personal and strong relationships are less likely to develop, but in small offices, people need to depend more on each other for the success of the business and work more closely together. Because of this they develop closer relationships which can sometimes turn romantic. Employers have developed some ways to avoid the negative consequences of these relationships including the possible lawsuits. Some of them develop strict no dating or anti nepotism rules (Shaw, 2007).
Other companies allow workplace dating, but require both members of the relationship to tell about their consent in the relationship and notify them of their rights to end the relationship at any time. This is referred to as a “kiss and tell” policy (Martinez, 2008). One of the most successful ways companies have developed for dealing with workplace romances is to transfer the subordinate to another supervisor to get rid of potential preferential treatment or retaliation. Any time a person researches such types of relationships, it is important to remain neutral and not get involved in the situation in any way.
By becoming involved, the research and evidence can be skewed in one way due to the involvement of the observer. It is important for research to be pure research and in the case of workplace romance. It is vital for the observer to not influence either party in any way or the results would be inaccurate. The researcher can observe the results and report the consequences as well as what companies are doing to avoid negative consequences.
Loftus, Mary. “Frisky Business: Why Love in the Workplace is Flourishing”(April, 1995). Psychology Today. Martinez, Michelle N. “Working Relationships” (2008) Retrieved March 14, 2008 from: Best freelance research service : Home Segal, Jonathon. “Dangerous Liaisons: Romantic relationships Between Supervisors and Subordinates Can Involve Thorny Legal and Employee Relations Problems” (December 2005) HR Magazine Shaw, Jennifer B. “Office Romances and the Risk of Liability” (2007). Shaw Valenza LLP: Publications. Retrieved March 14, 2008 from: Best freelance research service : Home
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