Workplace Romance Motives...
...A workplace romance is considered a relationship that occurs “between two members of an organization where sexual attracsion is present, affection is communicated, and both members recognize the relationship to be something more than just professional and platonic...”
...Romantic workplace relationships involve a certain degree of intimacy between coworkers. These connections can be categorized into three different classifications: romantic partnership, sexual ...
- complaints of favouritism from co-workers;
- decreased morale of co-workers;
- bullying or unpleasant behaviour between employees;
- couple's productivity decreasing; and.
- claims of sexual harassment.
Workplace romance motives:
1. Time: As individuals spend a lot of time together at work, it is only natural that relationships develop. Here, the time spent together was cited as the reason the romance developed. A participant explained: “You’re spending from 6:30-7 a.m. until at least 5-6 p.m.; 12 hours a day with these people learning [about] their lives.” Another person described: “That’s who you spend your time with [so] that’s the person you’re going to share the more intimate details of your life.”
2. Ease of opportunity: This motive is defined by individuals’ views that “the workplace allows and even promotes close proximity of coworkers.” One person detailed: “You travel a lot and you’re away a lot… you’re covering war stories and then there’s a colleague there that can share your same experiences.” Another reported: “I think cause it’s convenient, honestly. You meet people and if you’re working in the same environment, you have common interests in terms of what you believe in.”
3. Similarity: Within this motive, participants “believed people engage in workplace romances because of the similarities they uncover by being with coworkers in a comfortable environment.” As one person recounted: “I think it’s the similarity rather than initial physical attraction.” Another participant explained: “If you find that there are similarities or an attraction of some sort and you’re around them a lot, I think it’s very understandable that those things can eventually evolve into something romantic.”
4. The Hook-Up: As the name indicates, some workplace romances are driven by the desire to have a physical relationship. A participant described: “One three letter word: sex.” Another explained: “It is purely physical and it could go on forever as both people are willing participants.”
Throughout the years researchers speculated the individuals likely engaged in workplace romances for more than one motive; our findings support this early speculation. Interestingly, our interviews asked participants about their own workplace romances as well as those romances of their colleagues. When discussing the hook-up motive, individuals regularly attributed others’ romances to that motive but never their own workplace romance.
When coworkers who share similar interests spend significant amounts of time together, some are bound to feel attraction to one another and romance is inevitable. Statistics indicate that about half of us have had a workplace relationship at some point in our careers.