Town & Country Takes a Fresh Look at the Office Romance

Office Romance

If you have started an office romance with one of your coworkers, you might think that is nobody’s business but the two of you. Many companies would beg to differ, though.

Similar to nepotism, the concern is that kind of personal connection could lead to problems such as favoritism. But there are also much more serious possibilities, like a manager coercing a subordinate into a relationship under threat of job loss.

Town & Country discusses all the potential hazards and how to keep any potential romance by the books.

One of the biggest takeaways is that workplace relationships are not inherently bad or forbidden. Where disciplinary action starts coming into play is when the people in the relationship do not inform human resources of the change in the dynamic.

This is important as HR will usually forbid the two parties from having any overlapping responsibilities once it is clear that there is a relationship.

This protects the company against allegations of a certain person only receiving opportunities due to who they are dating. But it also protects workers from a power imbalance where they could be taken advantage of.

What started as an innocent happy romance could turn ugly if one party becomes spiteful as the relationship sours. It is easier for everyone when there is no concern for vindictive workplace retaliation.

So if you are pondering if asking out that coworker who intrigues you could harm you professionally, the answer is in how you handle the matter. Dating at work is not in itself unprofessional.

But as recent news stories have highlighted, not disclosing such a bond to your company will be viewed as duplicitous and could very well see you and your partner terminated.

For more on the rules you need to be aware of if you are romantically interested in a coworker, see what Town & Country recommends here.


Should you date your coworker? Should workplace couples keep their relationships secret? And why are coworkers so often attracted to each other? Organizational psychologist Amy Nicole Baker shares the straightforward answers to commonly asked questions about romance at the office.


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