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9 signs your employees are having an office romance

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Clearly, some people just don’t have enough to do at work.

Managing and maintaining an office relationship takes a lot of energy, particularly if they’re trying to keep it a secret, and especially if people have started gossiping about a potential love affair.

But as the boss, you really want to get to the bottom of the rumours. Well, now you can wonder no more.

Here are a few tips to help you suss out their behaviour for tell-tale signs that completely give away the fact that they’re doing more than just working with each other.

Ed’s note: I met my fiancé at a previous job, so I know what I’m talking about, people.

1. They can’t look each other in the eye

All they used to do was joke around with each other, but now they’re all “Oh, hello Joyce. How are you today?”

If the sudden formalities feel weird, it’s probably a good indication they are actually really familiar with each other.

2. They don’t leave the office together, but they almost always leave very soon after one another

This is made even more obvious when proclaiming (unnecessarily) where they are going. “I’m going home. I’ve got to feed my cats, then call my mother, then meeting Susan for a drink and then I’ll just be home having dinner on my own.” Yeah, right.

If no one has asked them, chances are they’re trying too hard to prove they’re off to do something they’re not.

3. They keep staying late at the office

Paul is usually out the door at 6pm, but now he seems to hang around until 7 or 8pm, claiming he’s suddenly “got so much work” – except you always just see him browsing Reddit.

Funnily enough, Joyce generally stays until 8pm. It’s not a coincidence.

4. They keep taking innocent but frequent breaks with each other

Their coffee breaks are suddenly scheduled around the same time, and it’s hard not to notice one follow the other out to the pantry for a five minute break. It’s like a corporate and safe-for-work version of a ‘quickie’.

5. Their annual leave or MC days start to match each other

Joyce booked some annual leave and you didn’t think anything of it, but now that Paul has requested to go away at the same time for a “family holiday”, you’re getting suspicious.

Your suspicions could be confirmed when they suddenly fall ill with the same thing on the same day. They might not be lying about it though – it’s possible they had a dinner date and really did score food poisoning from the restaurant. BUSTED.

6. They’re looking better than usual

If Joyce always dressed in flats but is now wearing heels everyday, it could be to impress Paul. Ditto if Paul has suddenly figured out how to make his hair look good and bought a new suit.

They could be trying to impress each other (or they might both be interviewing for jobs elsewhere… it can be hard to differentiate.)

7. Their ‘open door’ policy has been revoked.

Not officially, but this is a dead giveaway. What are you hiding behind that door that you weren’t a few months ago, Joyce? Hmmm?

8. You’ve noticed they’re actually not getting much work done

Geez, Paul. Since when did you become so crap at your job? You never used to miss a deadline, but now your ‘to do’ list is longer than ever.

Are you just getting busy and distracted with other stuff, or is someone in the office giving you a free pass for handing work in late?

9. They suddenly both have new hobbies

Joyce has started closely following Paul’s favourite football team, while Paul suddenly has an unhealthy fascination with One Direction. He has also taken up smoking – her favourite hobby – and she has started gushing about how cool GTA 5 is.

They might as well change their Facebook statuses to “in a relationship” and get it over with.

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Rebecca Lewis
Human Resources Magazine Singapore

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