Some significant others work really well together. Take the powerhouse design couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines. Not only do they work together, they live out their professional and personal lives on television! From the public’s point of view, they seem to have it all together.
Then there are other couples who separate because of a falling out that started over a workplace conflict. Many celebrities split after working together, but it’s a common occurrence in any industry. It’s a fine line to balance between work and romance. Regardless of if a romantic relationship works or not, workplace romances can make for tricky situations.
In many corporations, it is against the rules to have a romantic relationship with a coworker. Similarly, many places of employment won’t even consider hiring a candidate if their spouse is already employed. From a human resources perspective, romance makes professional relationships messy, can affect project integrity, and plummet productivity for many reasons.
Even when relationships aren’t against the rules, a romance can make the workplace environment difficult for you. If you are considering applying or accepting a position at your significant other’s place of employment, there are many questions to ask and topics to discuss. You’ll want to be 100% open and honest with your significant other, and likewise allow him or her to be 100% open and honest with you. You’ll also want to be just as transparent with the hiring manager/supervisor. Hidden secrets or ignored areas of tension will only cause problems for everyone in the future.
Here are a list of questions to consider before working with your significant other:
What is your motivation for working together?
What is the biggest benefit of working together? What is the biggest negative of working together?
Will you receive special treatment that is dividing you and your peers unfairly? How can avoid receiving special treatment?
Will you have higher (or lower) expectations put on you because of your relationship?
Will you be working together directly? How will that affect your work? Your relationship?
How will seeing your significant other daily affect your relationship?
Will your peers be affected by working with a couple on the team?
How will you handle conflict at work? How will handle conflict at home?
Will taking time off from work at the same time cause problems with staffing?
Here are more tips and resources for working with a significant other: