How Google handles office romances between employees

Several former Google employees say that the company is casual in its approach to dating at work. One says that Google is “intentionally agnostic about dating,” and that there are hundreds of “Google couples” among its global offices. In fact, Google’s code of conduct does not ban dating between employees, saying, “Romantic relationships between co-workers can, depending on the work roles and respective positions of the co-workers involved, create an actual or apparent conflict of interest. If a romantic relationship does create an actual or apparent conflict, it may require changes to work arrangements or even the termination of employment of either or both individuals involved.”

Concerning the culture of office romances at Google, one Atherton socialite with close connections to the company says, “When you have executives dating employees, it’s like a doctor-nurse relationship—it’s not illegal, but it seems like it shouldn’t be happening. Tech is a man’s world. Most of these guys are married, and then there are these young fresh [female] sharks, and they’re smart too.” But the men have hundreds of millions of dollars. The socialite trots out an old saw: “It’s almost like you get a Stanford degree so you can work at Google, so you can find a husband.”

— O.K., Glass: Make Google Eyes