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
- 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.