Romance in the office

Romance in the office

Rising Trend

Common: Dating colleagues is no longer a rarity.

Although most companies do frown on such situations, many of them have no official policy that prohibits it.

Such relationships might seem ideal at first — after all, they are convenient and offer couples the chance to spend plenty of time with one another — but in the long run, they tend to hamper efficiency and productivity in the workplace. Metrolife speaks to a few professionals and relationship experts to find out what their personal take on office romances is, and what one can expect from such a relationship.

Rana Ghosh, who works in the service sector, believes that such office romances are harmless as long as the couple is careful about maintaining a sense of decorum while at the workplace.

He says, “I worked in a multi-national company before this, and saw many cases of my colleagues dating each other. It’s healthy enough as long as the relationship is kept outside the purview of the office. On the other hand, if two people act very affectionate in the office, it looks bad and gives a lot of scope for gossip.”

Not everyone shares this liberal view, however. Ashish Jalota, also a professional, feels that such relationships are not practical. “They hamper efficiency in the workplace, since focus is more on the relationship than at work. I have seen such cases in my previous job in an IT company,” he explains.

But why is there a surge in the number of such relationships? Rana believes that it has everything to do with the fact that young professionals often don’t get time outside of the office. “People spend about one-third of their life in office. They often don’t have any other way to meet people,” he says. However, Ashish believes that couples who quote this as a reason for engaging in office relationships are simply looking for excuses. He explains, “It’s more about a trend, wherein professionals are copying one another. I copy my neighbour, he copies his and the whole country copies the west.”

Anna Chandy, a Bangalore-based relationship expert, says that there are two reasons that contribute to the rise in office romances.

“On one hand, colleagues work such long hours that they are engaging with each other on an ongoing, continuous level. This means they tend to share stuff amongst themselves, and after a point, this goes beyond work. Once this happens, they tend to feel much closer,” she explains. The second reason, she agrees, is that most professionals don’t have the time to step out and meet people.

While Anna admits that such relationships might seem to be an attractive proposition initially, she adds that they have certain cons as well.

“On one hand, colleagues who date have a commonality in sharing a platform. But what youngsters don’t examine is the possibility that their values and beliefs are different – this can lead to huge clashes. And in a work environment, this can get very uncomfortable. They also have a tendency to develop into needy, intense relationships,” she shares.

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