40 Percent of Employees Taking Advantage of that Other Office Perk: Love

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If there’s one thing American workers love, it’s each other…at least if a new survey on office romance is any indication.

According to CareerBuilder’s Annual Valentine’s Day Survey, nearly 40 percent of workers say they have dated someone they worked with over the course of their careers, and another 18 percent really get around have done so at least twice. Of those who have dated a colleague, 30 percent went on to marry that person.

The survey of more than 3,900 workers nationwide also found that, of those who have dated in the workplace, 10 percent have done so within the last year.

When it comes to gender breakdowns, more women than men report dating someone who was a superior.  One in three women say they have dated someone who holds a higher position in their organization; one in five men report they have done the same. Of the 8 percent of workers who are currently crushing at the office, however, more men then women (11 percent of men versus 4 percent of women) say they currently work with someone they are interested in dating.

Office romances: Business as usual? The survey also showed that people are getting less apologetic about having interoffice romances, too. “Workplace relationships no longer carry the stigma they once did, as 65 percent of workers said they aren’t keeping their romance a secret,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder.

The prevalence of office romances doesn’t surprise Haefner, either, who says that, with economic conditions forcing workers to spend more time in the office, the line between working and socializing has become blurred, creating more opportunity for deeper relationships to develop.

Despite the more relaxed attitude toward workplace romance, however, workplace romance can still be tricky, um, business.  According to the survey, 6 percent of workers say they have actually left a job due to an office romance.

“It is the responsibility of the individuals to understand company policy and make sure they adhere to it,” Haefner says, adding that workers also need to keep their relationships from negatively affecting their professional behavior and the quality of their work.

Happy hours, indeed
So what is it that turns people into more than just co-workers? Is it stolen looks the across the cubicle aisle? The brushing of hands when reaching for the community stapler? Coy flirtations in the copy room?

Actually, 12 percent of workers reported that their relationships started when they ran into each other outside of work. Looking for love in all the wrong workplaces? Try these other popular events where workers say romance blossomed:

  • Happy hour
  • Lunch
  • Working late at the office
  • Company holiday party
  • Business trip

Haefner offers the following tips for workers who may want to spark a workplace romance:

  • Know your company’s policy on office dating: While some companies may have a formal policy, others may not have anything at all. Make sure both parties in the relationship are aware of potential rules or consequences.
  • Social media – office relationship friend or foe?: Before you start posting pictures and status updates about your newfound coupledom, it may be better to inform your co-workers or boss in person. That way, there is less chance for gossip or speculation.
  • Keep the relationship out of the office: Do your best to maintain professionalism and not let the dating issues affect your performance or others on the job.
11 Comments
  1. Pingback: 40 Percent of Employees Taking Advantage of that Other Office Perk: Love : The Work Buzz « ΙΩΑΝΝΗΣ ΝΙΚΟΛΑΟΥ

  2. It’s called LAZINESS. some people only date people they work with cuz they just to damn L.A.Z.Y & INSECURE to go OUTSIDE OF WORK TO GET LAID.Plain & simple. quite frankly I think those type of people are PREDATORS especially if the person in question is ALWAYS A “SUPERIOR” looking for the FRESH MEAT to pounce on all the time. If you are SMART, & you have and ounce of something called “SELF-CONTROL” you would think twice before you jeopardize your future for a 5 minute fuck.

  3. Whatever 2011 –

    Man, sounds like you’ve been burned. Don’t hate what others have. And possibly you’ve not had good luck or are obviously jealous because your attitude sucks.

  4. There are 3 places you should never ever attempt dating as it leads to disaster in most cases in my opinion.

    1) Your home school/collage.
    2) Your place of worship/church and,
    3) Your place of employment.

    Why?
    Because if the relationship goes south (as it does in many cases with today’s society), you end up creating a bad reputation for yourself and your mate/ex-mate. Especially if you and/or your suitor are crazy; i.e. bad attitude, overly angry, or emotionally unstable.

    These are most of the reasons HR departments typically tend to frown upon workplace relationships. It changes the dynamic in which people interact with one another which can make individual performances suffer in the process.

    You cannot lead or follow when you introduce matters of the heart. Plus the fallout is just not a good look when you attempt to move on to the person sitting in the cube next to your Ex.

    • Office Romance? I thought that went the way of the company picnic and the mimeograph machine.

      Guess I am in the wrong company cause it ain’t happening here.

  5. I met my husband at work. We weren’t the only ones to meet there and end up married – another couple that met there got married just before us. Both marriages still going strong after 10 years and 2 kids each.

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