Relationships in the Workplace and What Defines Them

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Couples in Business
Workplace Relationships


Workplace Relationships


Author:  Cassandra Lattin,  COO

By Definition

According to Wikipedia Workplace relationships are unique interpersonal relationships with important implications for the individuals in those relationships, and the organizations in which the relationships exist and develop. Workplace relationships directly affect a worker’s ability and drive to succeed.”


PEER to PEER Relationships

Appropriate workplace relations can bring delight and increased productivity.   As employees get to know their co-workers on a personal level (peer to peer) they develop trust and a spirit of friendship and unity.

When the Level of responsibility changes, and one employee is promoted to manage or supervise a previous peer, things could become awkward and more complex. Training new supervisors can help minimize the negative impact of this type of transition.


Romantic Relationships

Romantic relationships in the workplace can lead to decreased productivity if demonstrated behavior involves flirting, jealously or undesirable distractions. As employees get involved in workplace romances, the responses from other co-workers may include increased gossip, concern about favoritism and/or associated responses that result in lower productivity.

Setting boundaries around romantic relationships (sexual relationships) discussing fraternization at work in your employee handbook is wise. Boundaries should not ban these types of relationships which could violate your employees’ policy. However, guidelines should be given which protect the work place while balancing employees’ personal rights. These boundaries can help mitigate legal issues that may arise from workplace romances gone wrong. Such an issue can be and not limited to, sexual harassment or other discrimination allegations.


Please answer our 3 question (Yes or No) evaluation to see where your company stands on your employee personal relation policies. After completing the evaluation, you may download a FREE “Employee Personal Relationship” template, which you could keep for future reference.


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