How can I deal with two employees hooking up?

Do you have any recommendations on how to deal with two colleagues hooking up in a company smaller than 15? In larger settings it happened and was okay because it usually wasn’t with people on your team, or that you worked with on a regular basis.

We’re dealing with this while we’re all in France. two of the youngest team members (23 and 24) (he is a subordinate and good friend of the CEO, and she’s the CEO’s EA) hooked up pretty early, and the behavior has just increased and made everyone uncomfortable. She’s currently using him as an errand boy, partnering with him to get a lot of her work done.

My boss asked me what we think we should do, but I don’t have a clue on how to handle this at such a small scale. The relationship has definitely been affecting work dynamics, and we’re all dreading the implosion for when things go sour. We both agreed that while they are two adults and should be allowed to do their own thing, we’re dealing with two very immature individuals, so there aren’t high expectations for this to work out in a positive way.

Do you have any recommendations on how to handle this? What should the policy be moving forward?

6 replies
  1. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    You can’t tell people not to hook up. they are doing it outside of work, so it’s their own business. And I’ve written before about how women who work long hours should be hooking up with someone at work, because how else are they going to get married?

    If they are being stupid at work, well, they wouldn’t be the first workers to be stupid at work, so it’s not that big a deal, and there is precedent: Either fire them for poor performance or ignore it.

    The fact that all of you are uncomfortable being around the two who are dating is immaterial. That is your own problem, and technically not anything the couple needs to address.

  2. Julia
    Julia says:

    If she is hoarding him as an employee, your company probably needs to have a clearer role description for them both. Doesn’t he have enough work to do from his actual role?

  3. jessica
    jessica says:

    Is your boss their boss? If so, it’s on that person to address the dynamic and move the team forward, that is really only if either’s work performance is suffering.

    I personally would not engage in discussions about these two without them present. While everyone else is distracted with that nonsense, you can continue to excel.

  4. J.E.
    J.E. says:

    Does your company have any official policies on workplace relationships? Maybe they both feel that they’re immune to any reprimands since they work closely with the CEO but if they cause the company to loose any business because they’re too wrapped up in each other to do their jobs it will be a different story. Also, I have a feeling if things go south it will probably be the woman leaving as you stated the guy is good friends with the CEO. Even though she’s the CEO’s EA, the CEO can get another EA, it would be trickier letting a good friend go. Would it work to say give them both enough rope to hang themselves?

    And P, hooking up with someone at work isn’t always possible if you work long hours somewhere with slim to no pickings.

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