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  • Not today, Cupid: An employer’s guide to navigating romance in the workplace

Not today, Cupid: An employer’s guide to navigating romance in the workplace

Love is in the air, just not in the workplace please! Here are three tips to prepare your business for Valentine’s Day. Get advice on what to do if your staff strike up a budding romance.

First published on Friday, Feb 09, 2024

Last updated on Friday, Feb 09, 2024

3 min read

Valentine’s Day this year falls during business hours. That’s right, the romantic holiday will be spent under your roof —and that means you need to keep your eyes peeled for workplace romance!

While the prospect of blossoming love is usually something to celebrate, if sparks fly between your staff, it can be risky for you as an employer.

New relationships at work can quickly become complicated and potentially inappropriate. Setting boundaries and ground rules for workplace relationships is advisable if you want to dodge harassment claims from employees or avoid losing your staff. Plus, you don’t want your work culture or professional relationships to suffer!

So, what can you do to stop Cupid’s arrow from piercing the peace at work? To avoid the dreaded awkward conversations, here are a couple of tips for managers this February…

Tip 1. Be alert to unwanted workplace advances

Behaviour that might seem innocent, like passing a note to a co-worker or buying gifts and sending cards, can quickly escalate. Unrequited love—AKA unwanted advances—could leave your staff feeling uncomfortable and needing to report it to you as harassment.

This could lead to some awkward and unwanted conversations with your staff. That’s why it’s important to do your research and find out what you can and can’t do in this situation. Even if staff romance isn’t on the cards, it can’t hurt to get advice and be prepared!

Tip 2. Prepare your schedule in case your staff get swept off their feet

Don’t let last-minute romantic gestures of grandeur mess with your productivity. Annual leave requests are likely to increase, especially if Valentine’s Day falls within your typical working week. So this year, you should make sure your annual leave systems are up to scratch!

Valentine’s Day falls on Wednesday 14th of February, meaning your staff might choose to rendezvous over a long weekend or a last-minute trip away. Have a reliable system for scheduling your staff, so you can approve or deny requests on the move.

Tip 3. Stop your staff coupling up on work socials

Arranging a work social around this date? Remember your staff have free reign in their own social lives, what they do outside of work is up to them. But when it’s under your watch or on your time, make sure your employee handbook clearly sets out rules for professional conduct at work events. That way you’ll be sure to reduce the chance of potential romantic advances and slips in self-control

Don’t break up with your staff. Let BrightAdvice be your workplace love guru and get expert advice on your more complicated HR concerns this Valentine’s Day.

Speak to your BrightAdvice team today on 1800 279 841.

Not a BrightAdvice customer? Discover more about our expert advice line.

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