Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Office relationships may be rife in accountancy world but majority of accountants are calling for ban at work

Could this spell an end to antics at the office Christmas party?

It’s officially the Christmas season and time for mince pies, Slade and Mariah Carey and perhaps even a cheeky kiss underneath the mistletoe at the office party. 

However, the accountancy profession has some firm words; - romance may be rife amongst accountants in the workplace, yet the majority feel that a ban restricting certain relationships in the office should be enforced, according to the latest research published today by global job boards and

The research, which was recently conducted amongst 430 accountants, revealed that three quarters of accountants are aware of a co-worker, line manager or boss that has had a relationship with someone else within the office. 

However, when asked if relationships should be banned in their workplace, two thirds of those surveyed believe some or all relationships should be completely banned; nearly half (47%) believe that certain relationships should not be allowed to cross the line into romance i.e. where people have a direct report or are working closely together,– whilst a further 17% believe there should never be any inter-office relationships.

According to the research, seven in ten respondents’ companies do NOT have a current ban on office relationships, however a fifth reported whilst there is not an official ban at work, it is very much implied that such behaviour is not acceptable.

When asked for personal views about office relationships, verbatim comments included

“It is totally unprofessional to have relationships with colleagues at work and these will almost always give rise to conflicts of interests and bad office atmosphere. If that happens, one of the parties should leave the company/ department.”
“Very unethical”;
“This kind of relationship can alter the work perception and results”
“it is risky business, decisions are influenced”.

Simon Wright, Managing Partner, comments:

“Given the office is often a place where people frequently meet their future spouses, it seems rather draconian to ban all romantic relationships in the workplace. Particularly in large or medium-sized organisations where staff may never be working on the same projects or will barely see each other during the working day.

“Of course, there is a risk of a professional conflict in smaller organisations and/or potential impact on results, no matter what size of the company, particularly if the relationship is turns bad or the couple break up.

“Bosses, line managers and HR executives should be looking at ways to minimise the potential fall out and assess what measures can be put in place to ensure work is not jeopardised.  Employees should always be aware of their responsibilities and be transparent should a relationship start in the workplace.”