Companies should not stand in the way of true love between their staff.
That is the opinion of the majority of UK finance directors, according to this week’s Accountancy Age/Reed Accountancy Big Question survey.
Just days before Valentine’s Day, FDs concluded that discouraging office romances wouldn’t make a difference, as ‘forbidden fruit is even more tasty’, according to John Collinson of Britax Excelsior Limited.
Many said that as long as the romance did not have an adverse affect on work, then there shouldn’t be a problem. ‘Discretion is key,’ according to one respondent.
‘Relationships could have a positive effect in the office,’ said DX Imaging’s Mary France. Lohman Adhesive Tapes’ Lorraine Mackay said that ‘everyone needs to meet someone somewhere’.
Others suggested that romance is an impossible thing to regulate. One respondent pondered: ‘Chastity belts for all romantic accountants?’
Not everyone was so ‘free and easy’ about office romances, especially in terms of the specific role played by accountants within a business.
‘Accountants are exposed to more allegations of collusion than others, and are usually everyone’s favourite scourge for their role in financial control,’ said Bryan Armour of Parchment Housing Group. ‘Best to keep your loved ones elsewhere.’
‘(An office romance) creates an atmosphere of pettiness, gossiping and jealousy and is not to be encouraged,’ according to Sauter Automation Limited’s John Buckley. ‘Of course, we can feel attracted to other people at work – but it does not mean that we need to do anything about it.’
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