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Love at work – it’s a corporate affair

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Check these four rules on how to survive an office romance by employment relations experts Acas.

With Valentines Day knocking at the door, thoughts of the amorous kind are growing, so Acas has produced four rules on how to manage love at work.

Steve Williams, head of equality at Acas, said: “Relationships at work are quite common, which is not surprising given how much time we spend there. A recent survey revealed that 61 per cent of relationships blossom at work, and that 94 per cent of people flirt at work.”

However, Williams advises lovers to behave responsibly: “By all means be upfront about it, but make sure you keep your work and personal life separate. This can help manage the situation with your boss and colleagues.”

The rules:

1. Ensure you can leave your personal life at home: All couples have their ups and downs. Keeping these out of the workplace is very important – no one wants to witness a lover’s tiff at work. Keeping your personal life and work life separate is important, out of respect for your colleagues and also for your own professional integrity.

Respect confidentiality: It is not unusual to end up dating someone in the same company, it may even be someone you manage, or vice versa. If this happens, then be aware of confidentiality issues.

Being fair to everyone: If you are a manager, be careful if you decide to move a couple into different jobs because working together is causing difficulties. Consider all options and base your decisions on their competence and ability to do the new jobs not just on seniority or rank.

If things go wrong: If things go sour, anticipate how it should be managed, especially if you are both part of a small team or company. Try not to let any bad feelings interfere with the workplace and remain professional at all times.

For further advice go to www.acas.org.uk

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Annie Hayes

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