Promances - something to be encouraged?


Last year we talked about the pros and cons of office romances. New research out of the US suggests ‘Promances’ or work relationships are linked with higher job satisfaction.

Apparently those who enjoy spending time with their colleagues at work are more likely to be more motivated to participate in company goals than those who have no ‘promantic” partners according to People Centric –a large US HR firm.


Their research indicates that, whilst there is a risk of employees who are in a romantic relationship of both moving jobs at some stage in their employment, overall people who are in a romantic relationship with a work colleague are less likely to leave than those who are not. Indeed it is suggested relationships between colleagues should not only be tolerated but encouraged!! Equally they believe there is a growing linkage to lower levels of absenteeism and turnover with work related relationships. Maybe this is just because if you are miserable at work at least you might as well be miserable together?

professional romance 2


Despite this new research we believe there are some dangers in work relationships which manifest in allegations of favouritism and nepotism…clearly care is required and protocols need to be established to avoid incidences like this.
Marital relationships at work are of course more prevalent in family owned businesses. Family businesses have their fair share of difficulties from time to time resolving conflicts of interest and keeping clear separation between personal and professional interests. Keeping a distinction between personal and professional or business life is not easy but it is vital that this separation is made. Indeed I have heard of some family owned businesses that have established a family creed to ensure difficult work decisions do not spill over into family relationships.

I have a wonderful story where the clear separation between work and home was made in our own family… My dear late Mother-in-law ran a pretty big business and had employed my father-in-law (in his 70s) to do the routine banking and other administration errands for one afternoon (usually a Tuesday) per week.  Being a retired General Manager of a large bank before he retired he felt he had just the skills and experience to do this job in his retirement years.

He was gobsmacked one day when my Mother in Law sat him down and told him that she had made the decision that she would have ‘to let him go!’ Protesting the unjust reasons for him being fired she stated that he was ‘just not flexible enough’. His sin was that he wasn't prepared to give up his usual Wednesday golf afternoon on the odd occasion when he was required on that day!

The good in this is that it gave him another afternoon at golf and the chance to reduce his handicap.!!


by Paul Bell

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