Romance at work

    Zwei Bürotassen auf einem Tisch
    Von Julian Earwaker

    Chris and Gemma were both working for a London-...-basedmit Sitz in …based charitykaritative Organisationcharity when they started dating. They got married in the summer of 2017. “Keep your relationship a secret for a little while — it can be exciting,” they told “But as soon as one person knows, you need to be transparent. It will make your life a lot easier and your colleagues might be more supportive than you expect.”

    When you share the same space with another person for eight hours or more a day, it’s no surprise that romance can sometimes to bloomerblühen; hier: sich entwickelnbloom. In these days of online dating and virtual relationships, work offers an opportunity to enjoy the physical company of another person, to share opinions, values and jokes — and to deal with challenges and problems together. A recent study by found that 41 per cent of professionalBerufstätige(r) (mit qualifizierter Ausbildung)professionals have dated a co-worker. According to The Guardian, some 30 per cent of workplace romanceromantische Liebe; Liebesbeziehungromances lead to serious long-termlangfristiglong-term relationships.

    But if you’re thinking of following in Chris and Gemma’s footsteps, it’s a good idea to check your organization’s HR (human resources)Personal(wesen)HR policy on workplace relationships first. “Some have zero tolerance and expect one of the partners to resign, some are totally accepting of office romances and see it as your own businesshier: Angelegenheitbusiness,” Lydia Fairman, an HR and resourcingRessourceneinsatzresourcing specialist, told The Guardian. “Others will have specific rules about who to tell and why, and what to do if one of the individuals is a direct manager or team member, to ensure colleagues aren’t to be impacted (by sth.)die Auswirkungen (von etw.) spürenimpacted and everything is ethical and fair.”

    Infografik über Beziehungen auf der Arbeit

    Fairman also advises potential lovers to observe professional boundaryGrenzeboundaries, to avoid to disclose sth.etw. enthüllendisclosing confidentialvertraulichconfidential or personal information, and not to behave in any way that could make colleagues feel uncomfortable or excluded. For Chris and Gemma, this meant keeping defined work and personal boundaries. “We had to be very clear about when we were colleagues and when we were a couple,” they explain. “When we walked into the workplace, we to put on a different hatin eine andere Rolle schlüpfenput on a different hat and to get on with etw. fortfahrengot on with our work independently of one another.”

    Think, too, about what happens if your relationship ends. Writing for, journalist Sarjana Singh says that you will have to deal with working with your ex every day, being the subject of gossipKlatsch und Tratschgossip and seeing co-workers to take sidesparteiisch seintake sides. This will to affect sth.sich auf etw. auswirkenaffect your performance. “If you think you can hide it, you are wrong,” says Singh.

    Although people are generally tolerant of relationships between co-workers, partnerships between colleagues from different levels within an organization can be problematic. Basically, it’s hard to say no to your boss. abuseMissbrauchAbuse of power and sexual harassmentsexuelle Belästigungsexual harassment at work led to the rise of the #MeToo campaign. To minimize the risk of legal claims and the need to pay compensationEntschädigungcompensation, as well as negative effects on a company’s reputation, productivity and team working, many organizations now have a written policy covering workplace relationships. Some even have a zero-tolerance policy for relationships between managers and lower-level co-workers.


    Power couples who met at work

    1. Bill and Melinda Gates
    Melinda was hired by Microsoft in 1987 and met Bill four months later, when they were seated next to each other at a company press event in New York City.

    2. Barack and Michelle Obama
    The pair met in 1989 while working at Sidley Austin, a Chicago law firmAnwaltskanzleilaw firm. Michelle was mentor to Barack, then a summer associateJurastudent(in), der/die (im Sommer) in einer Kanzlei arbeitetsummer associate.

    Barack und Michelle Obama

    3. Tina Brown and Harold Evans
    In the 1970s, Brown worked as a freelancerFreiberufler(in)freelancer for The Sunday Times, where Evans was editorhier: Chefredakteur(in)editor. Brown resigned and took a job at The Sunday Telegraph to approach sth.etw. angehenafter a relationship formed between the two. They married in 1981.

    4. Steve and Jean Case
    After working in marketing, Jean became vice presidentetwa: Vorstandvice president of corporateUnternehmens-corporate communications at AOL before she married founder Steve in 1998. CEO (chief executive officer)Geschäftsführer(in)He now runs a venture capital firmRisikokapitalgesellschaftventure capital firm, Revolution. Jean is CEO of their charitablekaritativcharitable foundationStiftungfoundation.

    5. Wendy Kopp and Richard Barth
    Barth, head of the school network KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program), met Teach for America founderGründer(in)founder Kopp when he came for a job interview in the early 1990s.


    So, how best to approach a potential date? The HuffPost suggests taking things slowly, testing the friendship first and starting off with a simple coffee instead of a romantic date. If you do ask someone for a date, make it easy for the other person to say no and take care not to to embarrass sb.jmdn. in Verlegenheit bringenembarrass or pressure them.

    The stress and emotions of workplace relationships are clearly a challengeHerausforderung, schwierige Aufgabechallenge. So, is it all worth it? “I feel like I won the lottery every day,” says Ben, speaking to He explains how he met a female colleague at a medical conference. “We to stay in touchin Kontakt bleibenstayed in touch by email, things got more flirtatious, and we to get engagedsich verlobengot engaged a year later… We’ve now been married for 14 years, with two kids.” If that all sounds easy, it wasn’t. “What made this particularly memorableunvergesslichmemorable was that I was based in London,” says Ben, “while she was based in the New Jersey headquartersHauptsitzheadquarters in the US, and the conference we met at was in Frankfurt, Germany!”

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