Although many adults work together in close quarters or under intense circumstances without ever falling in love or even being tempted, many come close enough to the fictional portrayals of workplace romances to attract the stern attention of human-resource professionals.Fairfield University’s Lisa Mainiero and co-author Kevin Jones of Indiana University and Purdue University, write in two separate articles (2013a and 2013b) about the perhaps precipitous downsides to the “Workplace Romance 2.0," in which the innocent sharing between coworkers who admire and support each other can descend down the slippery slope into romance or sexual harassment. If you’re Facebook friends with the people at your workplace, you might inadvertently upload information about yourself that portrays you in a less than a professional light.The simplest approach to avoid this problem is to continue to use the Facebook app but not use the in-app browser. Despite it being more convenient for 20-something women who are trying to make “serious strides in [their careers] before [they have] to make tough decisions about marriage and kids” to find potential suitors in the office, Friedman thinks that having a “co-worker-boyfriend hybrid” remains a bad idea.For her, it has to do with fostering career confidence: “There’s such a thing as having your ambitions too in sync with those of your partner.As someone who spent all of her early twenties dating fellow journalists, I would never advise a young woman to follow my example.A 1995 survey estimated that 80 percent of all employees have either observed or been involved in a romantic relationship at work. The Problems with Employee Dating Even though romantic relationships in the workplace are common, employers have legitimate reasons for concern about employee dating.The biggest fear is a sexual harassment lawsuit arising from either: Sexual harassment laws prohibit "unwelcome" sexual advances.
Managing Romance at Work In the days before social media, actual workplace romances were perhaps less complicated, Mainiero and Jones argue.What employees did on their own time didn't so readily became fodder for workplace scrutiny.