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5 Rules of a Workplace Relationship


Office romances come with an unwritten manual of work etiquette and code of conduct. One misstep and you could find yourself violating company policy and worse still, be charged with sexual harassment. In May this year, Phaneesh Murthy, the former President and CEO of iGATE was sacked following a complaint that accused him of sexual harassment. Even though he was cleared of sexual harassment, he was asked to go for failing to report his relationship with his subordinate, to the company.


However, not all office romances end on a bitter note. dearJulius.com takes you through 5 tacit rules of office romances.


Don’t Ignore the Ring


Indulging in an affair with a married colleague or subordinate amounts to career suicide. No matter how careful you think you are, nothing can beat office grapevine. Nothing spreads faster than news of your extramarital fling. Being judged by subordinates is one thing, but very often it’s these judgements that make or break your climb up that corporate ladder. You’re risking your reputation, your promotions, and your character. If she’s wearing a ring, you’ll be well advised to stay as far as possible from her.





Balance of Power?

If the woman you’re attracted to is single, it’s time to take a closer look at where she is in her career. Is she very much lower than you in position? Are you in a position to influence her growth in the organisation? Is she really attracted to you or is she just feigning attraction to get those promotions she’s after? Does she see you as nothing more than a quickest way to the top? You’ll be able to gauge where she’s coming from and more importantly, where she intends to go, based on your conversations at work and otherwise. If she’s more interested in office talk than you, it’s time to analyze your situation.





Respect Company Policy

Nowadays, very few companies forbid office romances, however, there are quite a few that will ask you to keep HR in the know. If you have decided to go ahead with your romance, ensure that you’re following company policy when it comes to rules and regulations. Very often, most of these rules are typed in fine print, but the finer the print, the more careful you ought to be.





Keep it Professional

No matter who you’re seeing or how much you’re attracted to her, when you’re at work, ensure that you’re professional. There’s a certain decorum that must be followed and respected. Refrain from taking extended, frequent breaks just to see her, minimise chatting while at work, and never ever discuss each other’s bosses while you’re in the office. Additionally, if certain assignments are deemed private, keep it private. There’s no need to discuss every aspect of your job with her especially since she’s in the same office. Control your emotions, separate work and pleasure and of course, don’t drag your bedroom to the office or the office to your bedroom.





Leave Emotions Out of Work

No matter how emotional she is, when you’re at work you two you must behave professional. When you’re emotionally involved with someone, it’s easy to blur personal and professional lines and overlook things at work. However, when this happens, this affects business, work environment, and you risk being accused of favouritism by your subordinates. While at work, be a fair professional that makes decisions based on facts not emotions.

By Nisha Samson


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Career Advice: 5 Rules of a Workplace Relationship
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