Many of us have a relationship at work. How do you get it, and more importantly, how do you get rid of it? Many books have been written about it. Have you ever dated a colleague? Well, you’re not the only one. Flirting, sexting, schmoozing, finding a partner: the office is a hotbed for love relationships and sexual escapades. Research shows that more than half of company people have had a relationship with a colleague. More than 7 percent have even done it with several colleagues.
With all kinds of consequences. Sex at work, here are the dos and don’ts. Kind of dangerous, isn’t it? Keep away from these issues and start your own internet business. Check out my last paragraph for a unique possibility!
No stopping it?
We are talking about a worldwide phenomenon. For example, more than two-thirds of Americans have had a sexual relationship at the office, Business Week writes. One expert, a lady, became fascinated by the world of sex and relationships at work, and the taboo that it shouldn’t be done. She wrote a book about it entitled Sex at work, All about love and relationships between 9 and 5, in which various experts and experience experts talk about the dos and don’ts around this theme.
If people really hit it off, there is no stopping it. Whether in the office or outside it. Anyone who says that such a thing cannot be done in the office is open to criticism. Who decides what is right?
Work and private life mixed up
Work and private life are increasingly intertwining. On Sunday evenings, check your e-mail, skype, Twitter, Facebook, text: we all do it and nobody is surprised if you are in contact with your colleague in this way outside normal office hours.
It all starts with a conversation about work but quickly turns into private conversations. Before you know it, you’ll be exchanging jokes and ambiguities and making sexual innuendos. Company outings, Friday afternoon drinks, and talks between the two partners also offer unprecedented opportunities to turn good colleagues into very good colleagues. With all the modern means of communication today, it is like a breeze to start a relationship at work.
It is therefore not surprising, that frequent (sexual) relationships arise at work. You really get to know someone at work; on good and bad days, in successes and difficulties, in stress and relaxation. That can be a good basis for a relationship.
And not unimportantly, an affair at work has a tension effect. It is forbidden fruit and that attracts. Because it is still taboo for many companies. Employers often find relationships at work a hassle. They prefer that people do their tasks and nothing else.
This lady (the book) has been involved in business ethics for many years. The issue of love at work is ignored in many companies because management is uncomfortable with it, they don’t have the courage to take this on and there is no policy. So let it go. But that can have negative consequences for productivity and the working atmosphere because there is, of course, a lot of gossip about it.
Code of conduct or reporting obligation
To break the taboo, it is important that employees know where they stand when they start a relationship. There should therefore be some kind of code of conduct for love and sex at work. Or a reporting obligation should be introduced for employees who start a relationship. It is then possible to look for the best solution for each situation.
For example, in an affair between a supervisor and a subordinate, it may be wise to have someone else do the assessment. Because otherwise, one might just think that the sweetheart is being favored. Is the promotion well deserved, are the performance appraisals objective, and is the bonus correct? If everyone knows what the truth is here, you prevent slander.
Benefits of relationships at work
The example of Richard. ‘The relationship had a positive influence on my work productivity. I liked going to work because she was there. I also worked extra hard, my motivation was great to show that my work was not suffering from this relationship.’
Opinions differ quite a bit when it comes to whether it is smart and useful to go into the secret feelings of that one colleague. Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages? People in love are cheerful, feel good, have mountains of energy, are less ill, and are more productive because of all this.
In addition, office lovers have someone around them with whom they can discuss business problems and who can think along about solutions. They understand each other’s work and understand if they have to work overtime (in the good sense of the word) because they know how busy it is in the office.
A relationship at work stimulates the productivity of both lovers. Enthusiasm and energy for the workflow from the amorous escapades. And rumor has it that good sex leads to more creativity.
Disadvantages of relationships at work
A romance initially increases the job satisfaction and productivity of the couple in love. They go to work whistling, can take on the whole world, so their contribution to the team can only be called positive.
But that is short-lived because a relationship eventually becomes normal and then productivity plummets just as hard. In an extramarital relationship, the love life mainly takes place in the office and there are partners at home – matters that complicate things, and then you see that it often comes at the expense of productivity.
‘There was a lot of gossip at work. It was of course very striking that we were so close. All that secrecy costs a lot of energy and has an influence on the atmosphere and on the work. You must always be careful not to betray yourself.’
Secrecy fuels gossip
For fear of dire consequences, attempts are still often made to keep the affair quiet. But no matter how hard you try, an affair at work will always come out in the long run. It’s hard to keep a working relationship a secret if you see each other 40 hours a week. So, never try to hide and be open in all cases.
Tell the boss first
When you are ready to tell the story, start with the boss and not with your colleagues. The last thing you should want is for the supervisor to find out through the gossip circuit. Then you will destroy more career-wise than you would like. But if it’s a one-night stand, don’t bother anyone with it. It doesn’t help anyone knowing that the copy room has been used for anything other than copying the minutes. It’s happened and it’s over.
Think before you start
Realize that you can’t go back once it’s known. When love passes, the whole office will know. So think before you start when it comes to making it public. It could cost you your spot or even your job. Not every company is equally lenient when it comes to this delicate subject. So first find out if there are any rules about it, and if so, what they mean.
In any case, remember that your boss can never transfer you without a valid reason and that dismissal for the reason of a relationship at work is not allowed by law. But if an office crush really causes problems, other options are sought. For example, dismissal under the pretext of reorganization.
Remorse when cheating
Another example. ‘Our relationship ended as it had started: she fell in love with another colleague. Fortunately, I rarely saw her new boyfriend at work.’
Despite all the openness, in the end, things go wrong in 70 percent of the cases. In general, relationships at work are less likely to last. But that is also partly because there are relatively many people who start an affair at work while they already have a partner. The tension of the extramarital relationship, often a reason for married couples to enter into a relationship at work, diminishes.
A pang of conscience arises, or the pressure from colleagues or the family becomes too great.
Here are some tips:
- Find the right workplace. Do not work in a male or female stronghold if you are looking for a nice man or woman.
- Find an employer/industry where it occurs more often and the boss is already used to it, for example in the advertising or television world. Also think of stressful professions in healthcare, the army, or the police. The pressure is high there, emotions play on it. That’s a recipe for the start of a relationship
- Work together on a project, go to the company drink, join the company outing, register for conferences, and work overtime. Incidentally, the more you see someone, the more familiar someone becomes and you like them more and more. Someone you would never pay attention to in the bar because he or she is not your type at all can become attractive to you at work overtime.
- Be honest: do you want a short affair or sit on the couch together ’till death do us part? Be clear about that in advance. That way you don’t create wrong expectations for each other.
- If it’s a one-night stand, keep your mouth shut about it.
- Is it getting serious? Tell the boss. This way you avoid gossip.
- Always stay professional. Don’t have private discussions at work. Work is work and private is private.
- Make appointments. Discuss what you will do if you unexpectedly break up. Who then picks up his or her bags? (If you should). A good conversation about this in good times is always better than in bad times.
- Are you finished? End the relationship on a Friday. Then you have two days before you have to go back to work, that gives some relief. If you already live together, you can use that weekend to move.
- Never gossip about each other when it’s over. Even then, stay professional.
- Make sure you have more in common than work, otherwise it will quickly become the only thing that binds you and the relationship will not last long.
Way out of this mess
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6 thoughts on “Sex at work – The dos, and don’ts”
Hi Jerry, this is a very interesting, yet controversial topic that you have covered in full. Starting a relationship with somebody that you work with, is fairly common, but I think also still frowned upon if it is an affair, rather than a relationship between single people.
Some companies really do not tolerate office affairs, whereas others are quite open to individuals being able to decide for themselves. But when things go wrong, it can become a very sticky situation. So enter with open eyes, if you are starting an office affair.
A relationship or an affair, I think there is a fine line between them, especially in the workplace. Both can cause trouble, except when there are some company rules in place to prevent excesses. Companies that do not tolerate affairs, should really reconsider as we are all humans.
A positive relationship with coworkers can be achieved when it’s started at work. The important thing is that you follow a good code of conduct and inform people who share close working relationships to avoid undue stress. When this job or project ends, make sure not only yourself but those in your group stay professional by avoiding gossiping about one another afterwards; keep things cordial, so there aren’t any hard feelings towards anyone involved!
At the end, when people are decent enough and we all respect each other, there should not be that many problems. Unfortunately, we are way off of that situation. Good leadership will also greatly contribute to avoiding unnecessary relationship issues.
This is great to hear!! Isn’t this also a way to ruin relationships at home with your wife or girlfriend, as they can be cheating too i wouldn’t imagine how that would feel. It’s probably best to be single and seeing people at your work place as it will be very exciting to do, like school all over again just “hoe around” or maybe even commit in a relationship at work. This is a great article on dos and don’ts on the relationships in a workplace, if it were to ever work i’d come back to this website and i’d definitely read it again that way i got an advantage on the work ladies.
The advantage of being single is of course the freedom you will have. But I would still be cautious starting something at work, especially if bosses would not approve of it or if there are no codes of conduct. In extreme situations, sexual escapades can lead to being fired.