skip to content »

Office dating with management

office dating with management-23

“There is a feeling of resignation among HR people.

But given the potential fallout from workplace relationships, companies retreat on this issue at their own risk, suggest a number of experts.Young people starting out in high-pressure industries like investment banking, the Internet, or medicine often find it can help to have a partner who can truly empathize with their demanding and often stressful careers."Anybody who goes into I-banking with an existing relationship outside the firm, watch out.Sexual harassment — and how to deal with it — is well understood by most companies.But now new dangers are being recognized in the ways an office romance affects the people around it. The answer to the first question is that the question isn’t worth answering — because office romance is inevitable anyway. And due to recent shifts in the legal climate, for companies, it’s also more scary. Whatever the reason, romance develops in the office just like anywhere else.

At many firms, classes go through training together—often in popular spring break locales such as Palm Beach, Florida—and engage in firm bonding or orientation events, where drinks flow freely and pairing off is inevitable.

I'd say 80 percent of the time, the relationship will fall apart," says the ex-Merrill analyst.

Thirty percent of those who’d dated a co-worker married them.

“Hostile work environment” claims, and their financial costs, are just the start. There is a misunderstanding at the epicenter of the office romance debate, even as it attracts increasing scrutiny due to famous examples such as the recent episode involving CBS Corp.’s “Late Show With David Letterman” host.

Contrary to some commonly misread signals, managers are not interested in stamping out employee dating.

"You just don't talk about it openly," says a former Merrill Lynch analyst. But it's pretty much known." Asset or Liability For those who have to travel a lot or work at client sites, the possibility of striking up a romance with someone on the same project can be an on-the-job liability—or an asset, depending on how it turns out.