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Love at work? - Read this
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  1. #1
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    Love at work? - Read this

    Love at work, Cupid is turning out to be a bug for HR departments

    It started out as a harmless and routine professional interaction when Aditi Khanna, a senior software engineer at iGate Patni, first spoke to Varun Sehgal, a colleague. Aditi was not getting enough projects to work on, and she spoke to Varun about opportunities in data warehousing, his area of specialisation.

    Both would take the same bus home. Soon, they were having lunch and coffee together, chatting through the day on the office messenger, and often strolling around the office campus.

    One thing led to another. Before they realised it, they were in and out of a relationship, both in full visibility of their colleagues and respective managers.

    The Aditi-Varun romance didn't violate any relationship rules in company HR books. One was not reporting to another, they were not even in the same team and there was no conflict of interest.

    Yet, the fling eventually cost the young professionals their jobs.

    After the break-up, Varun got married to another woman. Aditi quit, unable to see him at work. Varun too moved on, as office gossip linking him and Aditi never died down. "When you get into a relationship at work, you want to spend as much time with each other as possible," says Aditi, recalling how Cupid hurt her career.

    Sometimes, things could turn so much worse than this.

    "Nearly 50-60 per cent of cases of sexual harassment have an angle of office romance," says Nirmala Menon, founder & chief executive officer of Interweave Consulting, a firm that works on work-life issues in the corporate world.

    "These include cases when one of the partners has been snubbed, given a 'no' for an answer or there's been a break-up."

    With people flitting in and out of relationships now commonplace in society, Mr Cupid is turning out to be a bug for many HR managers. More romantic relationships are being reported at the workplace, even as male and female executives do the long, hard hours, shoulder-to-shoulder.

    And inevitably, as some relationships turn messy within the close confines of the office, somebody needs to clean up.

    "When there is a conflict between a couple, the immediate senior manager and HR head are expected to discuss the need to keep their private lives from hampering productivity," says Arvind Agrawal, president (human resources) and chief executive, corporate development, at the RPG Group.

    The consensus from HR managers and counsellors - workplace romances are a bad idea, both professionally and personally.

    This Valentines day, while a few new-age companies get into a party mood, mature employers mostly frown on office romances.

    At IBM, a personal relationship between an employee and the manager is a business conduct violation. All employees and managers are sensitised towards this.

    Audit and consulting major PwC has a dating policy to ensure couples do not share the same function and reporting line. "If this happens or there is a reporting relationship, the individuals involved are moved to different teams," says Mark Driscoll, leader, human capital, at PwC India.

    ITeS firm MphasiSBSE -1.44 % does not forbid office relationships, but when it involves a boss and subordinate, both are called in for a meeting and asked who between them would be ready to make the shift to another team. "Office romances can't come in way of a reporting relationship," says R Elango, HR head at MphasiS. Interweave's Menon feels companies are increasingly staying away from events such as Valentine's day celebrations and dating allowances.

    Career implications apart, nurturing or snapping relationships with office mates can be complicated, even messy, personally too. "We always advise partners and married couples to look for a change in roles and office spaces to avoid complications," says Dr Sameer Malhotra, head of department (mental health & behavioral science) at Max Hospital.

    When Gayatri Sharma worked in a Gurgaon-based bank, she realised the folly of dating Sanjeev Bhattacharya, her immediate boss, when a colleague walked into a restaurant when they were having a cosy dinner together. "I lost my appetite and decided to leave immediately," recollects Sharma, two years after the episode.

    "Only a few of our friends knew that we were seeing each other and I knew people would talk about how I might be favoured over others because of my relationship," she adds. He got a promotion and went to another team and she changed departments as a precautionary measure. Both are relieved that their romance has moved out of the confines of the workplace.

    (Names of people mentioned in the story have been changed on request)

    Source - http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/...w/18490965.cms

  2. #2
    Respected Member bharathj85's Avatar
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    Wow Ramesh Sir very very true and fact incident.
    2011 BNW PUNTO MJD Active aka RUSTY

  3. #3
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    Well, its otherway round for me. It turned out to be productive. I got married to the gal from same project. Ofcourse, later we moved to different projects as part of the career growth

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