5 Things Industrial-Organizational Psychologists Would Advise About Workplace Romances

things to know about workplace romance

Things to Know About Workplace Romance According to Psychologists

  • Know the Policy
  • Understand Potential Ramifications
  • Consider Acceptable Behaviors
  • Be Aware of Legal Issues
  • Don’t Hide the Situation

Workplace romances are common, but what industrial-organizational psychologists have to say about them should be something both employers and employees should be aware of. It makes sense that romantic connections would form on the job. People see each other regularly at work, and they probably have quite a lot in common. However, there are some things to consider before getting involved with a co-worker. Let’s take a look at just a few from the point of view of psychologists who specialize in corporate matters.

1. Know the Policy

First and foremost, it’s important for workers to know whether there is a formal written policy on office romantic relationships. If there is, they should definitely read it and be sure they understand it. If there are questions, check with the HR department for clarification. Employers should definitely have a clear policy on such matters in order to protect themselves and their employees, as well as to remain proactive.

2. Understand Potential Ramifications

There are so many ramifications with regard to workplace romances, according to phys.org. Things can get particularly complicated if one part is a supervisor of the other or outranks them. Accusations of favoritism can occur or other uncomfortable circumstances. Office relationships can also cause problems among co-workers of the couple. They might feel uncomfortable, along with other emotions like mistrust or concern. These problems can exacerbate in the cases when couples eventually break up.

3. Consider Acceptable Behavior

In order to ease any fears or counter concerns, the couple can take care to express only commonly acceptable behaviors while at work. There are some things that most people know are unacceptable or problematic, yet it’s human nature to allow them to creep up occasionally. Be careful to limit public arguments at work, as well as excessive displays of affection. Try not to burden co-workers with unnecessary personal details of the relationship. Make sure they’re close friends or are definitely open to being given such information. Otherwise, things could become unnecessarily uncomfortable for them. Employees definitely shouldn’t allow office relationships to interfere with job performance.

4. Be Aware of Legal Issues

Unfortunately, there is definitely potential for lawsuits with regard to romances in the workplace. These could occur between employees or could involve the employer. Issues like sexual harassment, favoritism, workplace violence or other problems can be brought to the courtroom. These are things no one wants to have to encounter.

5. Don’t Hide the Situation

Finally, involved parties must always be open with their employer once a relationship is formally established. This cuts down on rumors and ensure supervisors aren’t blindsided down the road. Set up an appointment with HR in order to be sure you understand workplace policies. This is also a good idea because it shows your interest in being transparent and in working within the best interests of corporate culture.


There is a lot to consider with regard to dating at the office. With these tips on workplace romances from industrial-organizational psychologists, everyone involved can be sure things go as smoothly as possible.

Related Resources: