Can romance in workplace increase wellbeing and motivation?

#Workplace romance is an undeniable phenomenon. It is defined as the relationship between two members of an organization that may involve physical attraction and activities such as dating, hugging, kissing, touching, and sexual intercourse. Due to the workplace romance essential presence, it is important to analyse what behaviours and aspects it can affect and how.

Work motivation, job satisfaction, commitment, work engagement and loyalty as well as performance outcomes are some of the attitudes or behaviours influenced by workplace romance. Workplace romance effects on employees' behaviour or performance, can be both destructive and constructive. Quinn (1977) was the first to suggest that workplace romance can contribute to both the improvement and deterioration of different behavioural and performance-related outcomes of employees and organizations.


Traditionally, blending work-life and personal boundaries and becoming involved in romance in the workplace are portrayed as risky matters for both employees and organizations. It is considered to encourage conflicts between the right to privacy and professional codes of conduct. Usually, hostility, cynicism and disapproval from peers and managers, deterioration in employee productivity and performance, litigations and ethical issues, are some of the negative effects it can cause. However, it can also influence positively the wellbeing, commitment, and employee performance.

According to Khan et al., 2017, workplace romance positively contributes to psychological wellbeing that in turn, positively affects employee performance. The results were based on a survey of 311 doctors from five government teaching hospitals operating in the Punjab province of Pakistan.



Psychological wellbeing significantly mediates the relationship between workplace romance and clinical performance for both males and females separately. However, the results reveal that the indirect effect of workplace romance on employee performance for males is significantly stronger than for females.


Therefore, workplace romances should not be perceived as inherently problematic, at least in relation to the performance of the doctors and their effects on psychological wellbeing. This positive relationship can offer a better healthcare provision to the patients and better service to human life.

Source: Moderated Mediation Model of Interrelations between Workplace Romance, Wellbeing, and Employee Performance.
Khan et al. 2018
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