ISB students compare impact of 'office romance' on working environment in India & West

MBAUniverse.com News Desk |
July 25, 2016
Students at the Indian School of Business Hyderabad have conducted a study on intra-office romance in offices and its implications on working environment.

The study was administered to more than 100 IT Professionals in the software industry. Of these, nearly 32% were female respondents and 68% were male. According to Nasscom, the male to female ratio in the Indian IT Industry is 65:35. The sample study had a similar ratio of 67:32 of males to females, and thus the sample is representative of the population. 70% of the respondents were unmarried and 30% were married.

The study largely focuses on the Indian IT industry. Office romances are discouraged in most of the Western countries; however, there seems to be no evidence of such discouragement in India. On the contrary, there is a perception that many companies encourage this trend as it accrues benefits to the organization through reduced attrition, higher employee engagement, satisfied and happy employees, greater feelings of citizenship towards the organization, and greater productivity through longer working hours at the workplace. Referral programs have become very common where companies have been welcoming spouses.

The study was conducted out of curiosity about the difference in the way the Western world treats of the topic of intra-office romances and the way it is looked at in India. Many global corporations have been setting up their offices in India in the recent past. Global HR policies are being followed in these companies more or less uniformly – especially on such issues. This is more so a reason to have specific policies on such topics, and to communicate them effectively to all employees. Although not welcome at any time, lawsuits - especially set against the backdrop of the slowdown, can cause unnecessary costs to be added to the company. The study delves into the difference in the outlook of Western companies as compared to Indian organization when it comes to intra-office romances.
 
Presently there are not legislative enactments or statutory policies against sexual harassment and abuse in work places in India. In the absence of an enacted law to provide for the effective enforcement of gender equality and guarantee against sexual harassment, the Supreme Court of India laid down certain guidelines and norms for due observance at all work places whether public or private sector and these guidelines are treated as the law declared by the Supreme Court under article 141 of the Constitution of India Guidelines and enforceable in law until suitable legislation is enacted by the Indian Parliament.