Barista Magazine

FEB-MAR 2018

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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91 making assumptions based on fear, and you have to know exactly what you're afraid of and create policy based in preventing those specifi c outcomes." Jasper has experienced harmful policies that tried to prevent relationships in the workplace; when successful, they often caused damage. When she worked at a large corporate coffee company, a policy preventing workers from dating within the same location was in place, but since locations were often 20 to 30 miles apart, that effectively prevented many relation- ships. "There was tension when a couple did not have enough resources, like a car or extra gas money, to disclose their relationship to management. This meant that they had to keep quiet about it because neither one could afford to move stores even when they wanted to be open about the relationship. This dragged down morale, especially when other coworkers knew and had to keep the secret as well." Further, when relationships do take off de- spite rules preventing them, they usually lead either to the termination or exit of one partner. This is often damaging because the partner who is terminated or pressured to exit is usu- ally the partner with lower pay or lower rank in the company; because of traditional pay and title gaps, that person is often the female part- ner in a heterosexual relationship, the non- white partner in a mixed-race relationship, or the transgender partner in a relationship with a cisgender person. These factors make it all the more important to think critically about what outcomes companies seek to prevent in making rules that bar relationships rather than specifi c points of conduct. TOOLS FOR SUCCESS Work is a popular place to meet romantic partners; according to Vault's annual Offi ce Romance survey, over half of all professionals in the United States have had some sort of ro- mantic relationship in the workplace. Specifi c policies that regulate workplace behaviors are not only critical to creating a healthy work- place for couples and bystanders, they also help address heaps of other behavioral and structural issues that result when humans work together. Because human sexuality is so com- plex, rule-makers sometimes shoot from the hip without unpacking a whole bunch of assump- tions that come from the presence of sex and/ or love in a situation. But, through examining unconscious biases and being ready to revise as they go, businesses can create healthier workplaces where relationships of all kinds thrive and strengthen the whole team. According to Vault's annual Offi ce Romance survey, workplace romances are gradually becoming more and more acceptable in professional environments throughout the United States. The results are in, and: 51% of professionals have at some point participated in a workplace romance. 62% of retail employees have par- ticipated in a workplace romance, the highest number of any business sector. 5% of respondents believe that no workplace romances are appropriate, down from 9% in 2011. 29% of respondents feel that all romantic connections in the workplace are appropriate, even those between managers and their direct reports. 10% of respondents met their spouse at work. THE NUMBERS Call us today or visit We love talking shop. Our team of baristas will help you find the best solutions for your customers! Booth #504 at 1-866-776-5288

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