Nearly 40 percent of workers have flirted with romance on the job

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THE OFFICE -- NBC Photo: Chris HastonWhen you think of TV’s most famous romantic duos — Jim and Pam, McDreamy and Meredith, Turk and Carla, Sam and Diane, Mr. Burns and Smithers – they all have one thing in common: They met on the job.

But when it comes to finding love, it’s not just reserved for primetime. Regardless of the economy, one thing remains the same: The workplace fuels romance.

“Employees are working longer hours and under increased pressure, creating an environment that could cause relationships to bloom,” says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder.

CareerBuilder’s annual office romance survey of more than 5,200 workers found that nearly four-in-ten (37 percent) workers said they have dated a co-worker at some time during their careers. That’s in line with the 40 percent who said the same in both 2009 and 2008. Almost one-third said they went on to marry the person they dated at work.

And what about the office crush? While eight percent of workers currently work with someone who they would like to date, with more men (11 percent) than women (4 percent) reporting they would like to do so.

Twelve percent of workers reported that their relationships started when they ran into each other outside of work. Some other situations where Cupid’s arrow flew between co-workers:

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

The question remains: Once the relationship is established, should workers keep it a secret?

“Workplace relationships are more accepted these days, with 67 percent of workers saying they aren’t keeping their romance a secret. However, it is the responsibility of the individuals to understand company policy and make sure they adhere to it,” said Haefner.

The survey also showed the repercussions of workplace romance, with 5 percent of workers saying they have left a job due to an office romance. To be on the safe side, Haefner offers these tips if you want to spark a workplace romance:

  • Know your company’s office relationship policy: While some companies are completely open to office romances, others may have stricter policies. Make sure both parties in the relationship are aware of potential rules or consequences.
  • Beware of social media: 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.
  • Always take the high road: If your relationship should end, do your best to maintain professionalism and not let the issues affect your performance on the job.

So tell us your office romance story. Was it a success or did it fizzle?

22 Comments
  1. Pingback: Nearly 40 percent of workers have flirted with romance on the job | JobsMyriad.com - Employment Agency and Career Placement Service

  2. You should run a poll as to how many “Emotional Affairs” have statred in the work place. My spouse had a year long one with a coworker. I didn’t find out about it until about 6 months into it. Of course the guilty parties don’t admit that it was an affair. They are “just friends”. There is a very fine line and it can and is all too often crossed. The pain from an emotional affair is much harder to deal with than if it had been sexual. Sex is sex and you can walk away from it but the emotional entanglement takes a tremendous amount of time and effort. All to often it is the innocent spouse who ends up bearing the brunt of the affair. Because it is so easy to cross boundary lines every one should use their moral compass by asking themselves if their spouse was standing there would they have the same interactions. If the answer is no then you have either already crossed or soon will cross all boundaries.

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  11. Many years ago when I first started my first real job at a manufacturing company I was attracted to one of the girls who worked in the front office. She was quite attractive and I was told she had a boyfriend, etc.
    So on my breaks I would pass by her desk and say hello.
    Well, not only did’nt she have a boyfriend but she was quite lonely and I made my move.
    We dated for 6 months or so, had sex that was quite possibly the very best I have ever had to this day and we generally had good time.
    We kept it low key and all was well I thought.
    Then she had taken another job out of state and I never saw or heard from her again.
    She left me no contact information so I feel she intended to use the move as a way to break up with me.
    Why? I don’t know and to this day 25 years later I still don’t know.
    Rumor had it that she really was into women and she moved to be with her gay lover.
    But I still think of her now and then. *sigh* oh well and I went on with my life.

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  14. And while this article is probably reporting more on the low end percentage of workplace trysts, how many of those 11 percent of men are actually already in a relationship or married? I’ve been hit on by so many married men at a few jobs I’ve had since I was a teenager it kind of tells you that men are always willing and able to cheat.

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