BPO Journal – “Call Center Romance”
Some relationships blossom and end up in marriage, few turned tragic and fatal, while many don’t succeed.
For those who see each other often, those who work together who’ve gotten to know each other better and perhaps share a common interest are most likely to end up in courtship, dating or get romantically involved.
Because of the similar activities in the same workplace, office romance exists in almost all establishments. The same is true to BPO companies where its employees are more diverse than any other. In fact, most BPO companies if not all, do not discriminate on the basis of sex, age, race or religion. This being said, many call center employees are no more than strangers from different places in all walks of life who took the risk primarily to support themselves and their family even if it means away from their love ones.
The married and single breadwinners, the adventurous and aggressive workers alike, they all explored their odds to find what it is like in the call center. And with such an environment, the culture is far more open and liberated.
At some point the outcome of such diversity creates disadvantages especially to those working far from home. A diverse workplace much to call centers with employees of different beliefs and principles, causes long distance couples to engage in love triangles and worst, adulterous affairs.
Managing diversity is imperative as it contributes greatly to the employee’s and company’s morale knowing that some characteristics are stronger than others. Some influences are far more powerful than others. Likened to, are those with contrasting values in life, such may be infidelity where it can be unrighteous by one and accepted by another. One night stand can be disgusting by one and welcomed by another. Friendship with benefits can be a taboo by one and a norm by another.
Call center romance is an open book. Unsolicited confessions of employees are all over social media spreading like wildfire. These viral stories of call center romances slowly transforms into a dangerous niche. A tale of broken marriages, betrayals, separation, loss, cheating, sexual desires, love misfortunes ending in suicide and a lot more are the picture of call center romances. It has become continually a hot topic creating controversies, while we remained unknown of its threats.
When is workplace romance damaging or damage-in-the-making?
According to Gary N. Powell, two kinds of romances have the most damaging effect on group morale and organizational effectiveness, (a) Hierarchical romances, in which one is a subordinate to the other, and (b) Utilitarian romances in which one satisfies personal/sexual needs in exchange of satisfying the other’s task or career related needs.
Moreover, a survey made by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that most companies surveyed, 72% do not have a written romance policy, 14% say they have an unwritten policy and 13% responds with a written policy. While, Career Builder survey finds that approximately 40% of all employees engaged in an office romance.
Based on research, office romance conditions are apparently not seriously regarded. In call centers, hierarchical romances are kept in secrecy in return for a favor. Elusive romance policy is held close and may only apply in some situations. Unfortunately, bosses or those who have the power, positions and authority in call centers are immune to such rules. The alarming part is indeed the fact that damaging workplace romance is happening in call centers and with no concrete policy in forced, it will continue to ravage.