What happens in the scenario where an employee is married or in a relationship with a colleague and especially the boss? With Valentine’s Day on the horizon are they allowed to openly express their love? Does the office setting offer a conducive environment for open display of affection or is it a sure way to kill a perfect career?
A number of celebrity Kenyan couples have taught us that it is possible to work with your spouse. Lulu Hassan has not shied away from saying that she has enjoyed every minute of working with her love Rahid Abdalla ever since he swapped the Twin Towers for the Communications Centre off Dennis Pritt Road.
But a huge chunk of people are still not convinced that personal and workplace lives can be aligned.
So the most important question would be how do you get the love swirls off your chest and remain professional at the same time especially on a day like Valentine’s.
Professional Human Resource (HR) managers opine that it is possible to co-exist with your wife/husband or girlfriend/boyfriend at work but that will be require a change in mindset to accommodate your private life and the company’s business interests.
“Many relationships begin in the workplace. There is an air of inevitability about it. If people come into contact with each other on a daily basis, it’s no surprise that close friendships and relationships follow,” says Greg Guilford, a HR manager for global consultancy firm HR solutions.
However most professionally run companies would require couples to declare that they are in a relationship to avoid scenarios where, for instance, a boss favours their junior simply because they are in a relationship.
“This is to strike a balance between an employee’s right to a private life and an employer’s right to look for its interests,” adds Mr Guilford.
In the event that both of you do decide to work at the same place, it is prudent to keep your personal lives away from people. Too many cooks spoil the broth remember?
That means that if you were planning to buy your colleague a bottle of wine as a way of revealing what you really think about them, it is probably better that it be only between the two of you. And that means waiting until after work.
But you can set up the mood by dropping a card by his/her desk. A romantic message will go a long way in compensating for the lack of expressing your affection within the office.
The bottom line is : Never create drama in the office.