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Office Romance 101: The Rules of Dating a Work Colleague

Office romance has been a staple of British society for a long time, but how many people actually date a work colleague and what are the rules?

Most of you will have either dated a work colleague or know someone who has. Some of these office romances turn into lifelong relationships, and others end in misery and resignation. With this in mind and the power relations that can sometimes come into play, it can be a tricky tightrope to navigate.

Due to the boundaries that must be put in place with these sorts of situations, speaking to an employment solicitor is probably a good place to begin. They can help you to resolve any queries you may have, and any issues you may face with your employer.

Starting with rules we’ve laid out here, however, might be a quicker port of call. Today, I'm going to share some office romance statistics, and give you our rules around dating a work colleague. Then, I’ll offer some brief insights on whether office romances will die off in the COVID-19 era.

How Many People Get into Office Romances with a Work Colleague?

Work place people

Office romances are much more prolific than you might think and, up until recently, they were one of the main ways people got into relationships.

In a survey by the job search engine Adzuna.co.uk, it was discovered that 66 percent of workers in the UK had been in a romantic relationship with a work colleague. What’s more, 28 per cent of them found their current partner at work.

Where the boundaries are a little stiffer is getting involved with someone above or below you in the rankings, but this hasn’t stopped some. In fact, 22 percent of these romantic relationships in the workplace were between a subordinate and their boss. This is a difficult position to be in if you don’t want to risk losing your job.

The other side of that coin are employees who choose to date their boss on purpose because they believe it will progress them in their career. In the survey, 48 percent of Londoners who dated their boss admitted the romance helped their career.

Unsurprisingly, for all the office romances that work out, there are a huge number that force employees to resign:

  • 59 percent of people who date a work colleague resign from their jobs.
  • 33 percent of these employees resigned to avoid a partner post-break-up.
  • 26 percent of them resigned to give their relationship the best chance to succeed.

Given these statistics, it’s unsurprising that 18 percent of employers have completely banned dating in the workplace, and an untold number of others have strict rules around office romances.

What Are the Rules on Dating a Work Colleague?

work colleagues

To make sure you don’t end up resigning from your job, or violate any rules your employer has on office romances, we’re going to share our personal list of rules on dating a work colleague.

1. Check the Company Rules

The first port of call if you’re thinking of getting into a relationship with a work colleague is to check what the company rules are. According to the same survey we mentioned in the last section, 17 percent of employees don’t actually know what their company’s dating policy is.

You could check the company handbook or your contract, if you have access to it, to see if there are any clear rules on office romance. If there isn’t anything there, it might be worth speaking to a fellow work colleague or your manager to see if they know what the rules are.

Once you know what they are, or you find out that there aren’t any, you can move onto the next step.

2. Don’t Break the Law

This might sound like a dodgy title, but if you’re going to approach a work colleague to go on a date you have to make sure you don’t end up with sexual harassment charges against you.

Most of us have common sense and know the difference between harassment and asking someone out on a date. However, the rules around sexual harassment in the workplace tend to be stricter than dating policies.

This is especially true if you’re a manager and the person you’re asking out is your subordinate. If you don’t make it absolutely clear that if they turn you down it won’t have any repercussions for them at work, it could be interpreted that way and you might face harassment charges.

If you want to be extremely safe when you ask out a work colleague, you could use the Google rule. Google and Facebook recently introduced rules around office romance, which included the fact that employees are only allowed to ask a co-worker out once.

If the co-worker says no, then you don’t get to ask again, and if they are ambiguous about it, for example: ‘I’m not available that night’ it still counts as a no.

3. Don’t Date Your Boss

It’s a little too risky to be dating your boss, and vice versa for a boss to be dating their colleague, as we alluded to above. You don’t want to be in an office romance with someone who has power over you and your career, and you also don’t want to be in one with someone whose career path is dependent on you.

It creates an uneven power dynamic that will likely bleed into your personal relationship, and it more often than not ends badly.

Also, work colleagues are likely to talk about you behind your back, claiming it’s all for personal gain. They might assume that the whole relationship is because one of you wants a promotion and one of you is using your power to get what they want. Best to avoid this tarnishing all together.

4. Don’t Let the Relationship Get in the Way of Your Job

people at work

Once you get into an office romance with a work colleague, it’s important to make sure you don’t let it interfere with your job. Your behaviour might go one of two ways:

You try to be overly-cordial with your partner, so it doesn’t look like your relationship is getting in the way of your work. If you were friendly with the person before, and that behaviour contributed to how well you worked together, then losing this might obstruct your work. 

You try and keep the romance going in the office and end up grossing out all of your work colleagues. If you’re busy working on your relationship you won’t get a lot of your actual work done.

If you’ve opted for a manager/subordinate relationship, the relationship could have an even more detrimental effect on your work.

For example, it might be difficult for your partner to critique your work because they want the relationship to go well. Or, you might find it hard to take criticism from the person you’re dating. Ultimately, having to answer to a partner who is higher up in the organization's chain of command may become a problem.

This can also make other work colleagues sour, as they feel you are being given special treatment over them because of your relationship.

5. Make Sure You’re Both on the Same Page

Not all office romances are between people looking to make a lifelong commitment. So, it’s a good idea to make sure that you’re both on the same page.

You might even want to make a love contract, which sounds silly and made up but is an actual legitimate contract some employers require employees to sign. Even if your employer doesn’t require it, a love contract is worth making so you can talk about how you want to conduct your relationship both in and out of the office. Think about:

How open you want to be with your work colleagues or your boss;
How you’re going to interact with each other at work, for example whether you’ll have lunch together or talk about non-work things at work;
What you’ll do if one of you gets promoted and you get stuck in an awkward employer-employee scenario.

Will The Office Romance Die Off in the COVID-19 Era? 

Home working

Now that we’ve gone over our general rules for office romance, we’re going to take a quick look at whether they will survive the coronavirus pandemic. As we mentioned earlier in this post, office romance is one of the main ways people get into relationships. With COVID-19 forcing office workers to do their jobs from their homes, it might spell the end of these relationships.

In fact, 49 percent of working adults in the UK are currently working from home, meaning that half the workforce are unable to speak to each other face-to-face.

In an interview with Business News Wales, a spokesperson for Protecting.co.uk said: “COVID-19 has really thrown a spanner in the works when it comes to dating at work. Budding romances have come to an abrupt end, and no one wants to flirt with a co-worker over a company zoom meeting. Working from home means there is no office banter, which means gone are the days of easily flirting with your co-workers and asking them out.”

Dating experts at eHarmony believe that at least 50 percent of couples will meet online by 2031, and almost completely replace dating in the workplace.

The Future of Office Romance

In this post, we’ve managed to cover the statistics on people who have dated a work colleague and shared our rules on office romance. We’ve then given a brief insight into how workplace dating might be replaced by online dating post-COVID.

It’s not set in stone how the future of the world will look, never mind the dating scene. If we make it through this pandemic and decide to return to things as they were, workplace romance will have its second term. That said, if we settle into a ‘new normal’ where most people work from home, it’s likely that relationships will start online instead of in the workplace.

What do you think? Are office romances dead? Let me know, in the comments down below!

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A Tome For Your Home - Creating A Reading Room

Something that isn't spoken of enough these days is the benefit of reading. Arguably, most of us don't have time to read or we don't have the space. Many people might think they need to create a space in their home to read, and others may be lucky enough to have a spare room but don't know what to do with it. 

bookcase and lamp

Creating a reading room or reading space is something that can benefit so many of us. It's not just about the act of reading itself but it's a space for us to switch off, away from our phones or tablets, and get back to something simple. But how can you create a reading area or room in your home?

The Right Furnishings

Firstly, we need to make sure our area is decorated appropriately. It depends on if you plan to read on a quiet Sunday afternoon or early in the morning before everyone else gets up. This means that you need a few components to incorporate the right atmosphere. A small table is ideal so you can put your cup of coffee on there, but you also might want to think about something that brings you into a more relaxing state of mind. There is something quite satisfying about a ticking clock that can bring you back to a time before mobile phones or tablets. You may want to think about getting a Grandfather or Grandmother clock. It's a statement piece if you have the room, but of course, many people feel that Grandfather clocks are too big. But the differences between Grandfather and Grandmother Clocks are worth considering at this point especially as Grandmother clocks are smaller in stature.

Sectioning off a Space

Whether you are extending your home or making do as it is, there are certain things you can do to tell yourself this is a different part of the home. We assume you don't have a private library, but you can still separate the reading space from the rest of your home. You can very easily incorporate an accent wall or a rug. And while the right flooring can make it appear different in your mind, you'll also need to think about the right lighting. It will help you to get into the right frame of mind to read, but you also need to make sure that it's not too dark. Find some ambient lighting for the space, but also use a single task light to ensure you can focus on the page.

A Reading Chair

The most important thing of all. A reading chair will communicate so much to you. It needs to be relaxing, but not overly so. And it also needs to be something that's unique but not too different from the rest of your furnishings. Choosing something like a vintage armchair can be very effective and it can be a focal point to certain aspects of a room. But you also need to make sure that this chair is away from high traffic areas of the home so you can actually get down to the fine art of reading.

Reading is a wonderful thing and we can achieve so much with the right knowledge. But if you are someone that doesn't have the opportunity to read much, you need to make time, but you also need to make the space.


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Top Benefits Of Travel For A Childs Development

Travel can mean different things for different people. New parents may wince at the idea of bringing the little ones away for the first time as there is so much to plan and so much to prepare, but, this is actually not the case at all. Not only is travel a good time for the family to bond, but it can also monumentally benefit the child!

Change of scenery, change of mind



It’s no secret that you experience new things when you travel, so to learn and see new cultures first hand while you are young will stand the child in good stead for the future. Children are taught about the wonders and workings of the world at school, but this will always be within four walls. Why not bring their learning to life? Travel is the ultimate hands-on and immersive classroom, just being in a new place with new customs will help the children experience diversity. and different cultures.

This exposure to new and different things will broaden their minds. Kids are often more tolerant and curious post-travel. This will benefit them as they can develop a ‘hunger’ for knowledge, so when they do end up back in the classroom they can apply their new findings straight to the textbook. Kids love doing and playing – so using all five senses to experience the world is a more enjoyable experience and beneficial for education for sen children. Often, they naturally adapt and use their newfound knowledge and link it straight to the reception class curriculum. This directly affects understanding, as it is harder to grasp concepts from just reading.

Boost their confidence whilst on the road

We all want our children to have the happiest lives possible, especially when it comes to social lives and friends. Playdates are so important, however, how do you get them to be confident enough to reach out to others? What happens when they’re in a situation where they have to step up and do things alone? They may be too young now, but skills like these are important to learn from early on. The introverts amongst us know how it feels when you’re in a situation when you don’t know anyone else – it’s not great. It’s often suggested that when on the road, children become better at meeting new people just from the experience of trying new things. The ‘unknown’ becomes less of a thing to fear, and more to be excited about. This is a valuable life skill that can be transferred onto any situation later in life, whether it is the classroom or even a job interview!

Patience, Patience

Another life skill learned while travelling is patience. Sadly, no matter how much we try, things can go wrong. Maybe there are delays, maybe you lose the suitcase – who knows? We wouldn’t wish for these situations, but when going on vacation they’re often unavoidable. If children are around to see these mishaps, they can learn one of life’s best lessons: be patient.

Learning to adapt to unforeseen circumstances and being able to ‘go with the flow’ are key to living a happier life. For kids to pick this up at a young age is very important. Returning to the classroom and being able to navigate education with patience will optimize their learning and improve grades. This teaches them that if things go wrong, it is okay – nothing is the end of the world. Adopting this mentality from travel to learning will make them more receptive to teachers and the process of studying. No one gets A’s first time.



Culture Vultures

Kids love anything new, so if you do make the decision to travel, mix up the destinations. From nature to a city break, the different experiences are so valuable. Visit landmarks, theme parks, even to new AI based vacations. The impact of AI on holidays will blow their minds – and possibly yours too! Technology knows no bounds, these up and coming holidays are not something to be dismissed. Learning together is great, we love our kids, but why don’t we nourish our own minds too.

Letting kids have an opinion on what they want to visit is also important. You may have a great idea for a vacation, but maybe they do too. Culture and self-expression go hand in hand, and seeing the world is an exciting experience. Try methods like having an open conversation about what you’ve experienced together. Did you like it? Why was that? Would you like to see it again? Their little brains will be whirring with amazement, building healthy pathways about the world and it’s beauty. 

Time to bond

I could reel on for hours about how much travelling benefits children’s learning, but another important and sometimes overlooked aspect is how much it benefits the family as a unit. Imagine going on a camping trip with your kids, seems like a lot of planning I know, but once you’re there and out with nature you can just… relax. Being in nature and present in the moment will have nothing but positive effects on your family relationships. As a society we are so busy these days, from meeting to meeting we go, often without even glancing around and taking a break. Having even just a weekend unplugged from work life builds stronger family foundations and promotes a positive environment to raise the young ones in.

Think of all the memories you can build together, one day you’ll all be looking back and smiling about the time you were away. No one knows how fast time goes more than parents, they really do grow up so fast – so take that time you’ve been thinking about taking and go for it! It will benefit everyone involved. 

Looking to the future

Building a family and raising children is never an easy task, especially when we care so much about them. Take that vacation you’ve been daydreaming about in the office and go see the world together. Try all these new and exciting experiences while they’re still young. Know that going away will only benefit them and their development. The vacation may last a week, but the memories will last a lifetime.


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Which Type Of Flooring Is Best For You Home?

There are many choices of floor covering you can have in your home. If you are looking for the advantages and disadvantages of each type of floor covering from wood flooring, to vinyl to carpet and more then you've come to the right place. 

Firstly choosing a floor covering isn't simple. There are a number of things you need to consider when choosing the floor covering for your home, including the look, the ease of cleaning, the cost, and more. Let's have a look at which type of floor covering is best for each room in your home.

Carpet

carpet bedroom

A plush carpet is soft and cosy. There is nothing like feeling carpet underfoot and therefore it is a good choice for a lounge or bedroom. Carpet can also muffle noise so is perfect if you live in a flat. That's another reason to choose carpet for the stairs as the noise will be limited. I would avoid using carpet in a bathroom or kitchen where it could get damp and would be harder to clean. Carpet is available in a variety of prices depending on the quality and materials used. Carpet does gather dust and dirt, so think twice if you have pets, young children or allergies.

Wood flooring

wood flooring
Wood flooring has a luxurious look that is hard to beat and is often used for hallways and lounges. Solid wood flooring especially is hard-wearing. It can fit into a traditionally styled home or a modern minimalist look with ease, depending on the wood chosen and the finish. Wood flooring is generally a mid to high price point but the original outlay can be balanced with the longevity. Wood flooring lasts longer than carpet if looked after well and is easy to clean with a brush or dry mop. It can be a little noisy if you have a wood floor in a flat or an upstairs room.

Vinyl 

vinyl flooring

Vinyl is a good choice for a cost-effective flooring when you are on a tight budget. It can resemble other types of flooring including wood, tiles and slate, so it's very versatile. Modern vinyl flooring does last a while however it can get damaged easily, so may need to be replaced every ten years or so. It is easy to keep clean, easier than carpet and is good if you have children around and pets, a light mop is all it needs. This means it is good if you have allergies. 

Natural stone flooring

stone floor

Natural stone flooring is hard-wearing and tough as well as upmarket and luxurious and is a popular choice for kitchens. It can also be used for bathrooms as it's moisture resistant but can be cold underfoot. Natural stone flooring comes in a variety of materials from marble to slate, limestone to granite and has longevity although the initial cost can be high. Some stones need to be sealed but then they are impervious to moisture and are easy to keep clean. 

Laminate flooring

laminate flooring

Laminate flooring is a multi-layer type of flooring fused together often with a wood finish. It replicates the look of real wood as a much cheaper cost. Laminate flooring is not the best flooring for areas which can get wet or moist like kitchens, laundry rooms and bathrooms. It's easy to install and relatively durable.  

So here is a description of flooring that is suitable for your home. What flooring do you have in your home?

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Fresh Smoked Salmon Online From Scotland

Smoked salmon is a luxury that has become surprisingly affordable in recent years. With a rich deep flavour, it has become a popular ingredient in a variety of appetisers as well as a food eaten in its own right. With a variety of health benefits too, smoked salmon is one luxury that could be even good for you! So let's have a look at the reasons why you should eat smoked salmon and also the benefits of buying it online.

What is smoked salmon?



Smoked salmon is made by taking fresh salmon through the smoking process which helps keep the fresh fish longer. It is done through a cold or hot smoke which affects the taste and texture of the salmon making it a distinctive food product and coveted for its taste and richness as well as preserving it.

Health benefits of smoked salmon

sushi with salmon

Smoked salmon is rich in omega 3 oils. Omega 3 oils have a variety of benefits to health, including helping to prevent heart disease. Oily fish like salmon is also rich in Vitamin D which helps make healthy bones and teeth. The evidence for the health benefits of oily fish is so strong that the NHS recommends the majority of people to have a healthy balanced diet to incorporate two portions of fish a week and one of those oily fish. Check the recommendations if you are pregnant or breastfeeding as they may be different.

How to use smoked salmon



Smoked salmon is often eaten simply in the UK, with some brown bread and butter, and a squeeze of lemon juice, but there are a variety of ways it is eaten around the world. It is eaten with scrambled eggs as a popular brunch dish around Western Europe. Another way to eat it, popular in Jewish cuisine, is on a bagel with cream cheese. Smoked salmon can also be used as an ingredient in quiches, salads, and pasta sauces as well as used in sushi too.

Buying smoked salmon online

bagel and smoked salmon

Buying smoked salmon online is a convenient way of getting the best salmon to your doorstep from Scotland. Why Scotland? Scotland has a reputation for some of the best smoked salmon in the world with the freshest salmon coming from the award-winning producers around Scotland, and with many artisan smokers with years of experience in smoking this fine fish. Ordering Scottish smoked salmon online from a RSPCA accredited farm is a quick and convenient of getting the best to you without having to hunt it down in your local area.

Let me know, do you enjoy smoked salmon? What's your favourite smoked salmon dish?

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Choosing Wood Flooring - What Should You Look For?

Wood flooring can be a gorgeous style statement in your home and it also has lots of added benefits too. 

wood flooring in bedroom

Cost

Although the initial outlay is more than carpet, wood flooring can last much longer. Typically carpets are changed every 5 to 7 years but wood flooring can last decades. It, therefore, has the durability that carpet does not. Today's modern production processes also mean that engineered wood flooring is cheaper than it used to be, making it more accessible to those that could not afford it before.

Hygiene

Wood flooring is hygienic and easy to clean. With carpet, smells and dirt can get trapped in the fibres. If you have young children who spend time on the floor this is an obvious consideration. Cat and dog owners too will appreciate the ability to keep the floors hygienically clean. If you have allergies, wood flooring is also an obvious choice as solid wood flooring is easier to keep clean than carpet and doesn't trap dust and mites like carpet can.

Maintenance

wood flooring in kitchen

Wood flooring is minimal maintenance. Most floors can be cleaned by a dry brush to collect the dust and then washed with a simple mop and wood floor cleaner, being careful not to saturate the wood, and always following manufacturers instructions. Use floor protectors under furniture to prevent marks. Scratches and damage can occur, but because the wood has a uniqueness, each piece with its only markings and knots, minor scratches and damage are easy to overlook.  Greater damage can be repaired with sanding and refinishing, and this is cheaper than a new carpet that's for sure.

Ecological 

Wood is a natural renewable and recyclable resource. Many floors are made from reclaimed wood and recycled from barns, churches, railway sleepers, warehouses and ships. It's can be a sustainable option if you choose wisely, look for the FSC certificate. 

Adding Value

Wood floors in a house can add value to your home. When buying a new house many people replace carpets but hardwood flooring is almost always kept due to its timeless appeal, durability and classic good looks. It can make your home more saleable and desirable.

Lower Utility Bills

Solid wood floors have insulating properties as they trap warm air. This means a warmer environment and lower heating bills. We all want lower energy bills, don't we!

Style 

wood floor

Wood flooring never really goes out of fashion like carpets and lino can.  If you are having a new wood floor fitted there is a good choice of wood available to fit in with the look and style of your house including oak, maple, walnut and Scottish elm. If you get tired of the finish you can also sand and refinish the wood to get a different look.

As you can see there are many reasons why you need wood flooring in your home, including great looks, easy maintenance and lower bills. An initial investment in wood flooring will mean long-term benefits for the future for the home-owner.

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