Love is in the air…and in the office

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pamjimWith Valentine’s Day right around the corner, cupid’s arrows have started to fly – and may be landing in a cubicle or office near you. Four-in-ten (40 percent) workers reveal they have dated a co-worker at some time during their careers, with 18 percent admitting to doing it twice or more, according to CareerBuilder.com’s annual office romance survey of more than 8,000 workers. More than three-in-ten (31 percent) said they went on to marry the person they dated at work.

Office courtships may be stemming from current workplace crushes. Ten percent of workers currently work with someone who they would like to date, with more men (14 percent) than women (5 percent) reporting they would like to do so.

Workers aren’t just interested in dating their peers. Among workers who dated a co-worker in the last year, thirty-four percent admit they have dated someone with a higher position in their company. Of those who have dated a higher up in the last year, 42 percent have dated their boss; female workers more so than males, at 47 percent and 38 percent, respectively.

Employees spend many hours interacting with co-workers, so it’s not unusual for romances to spark,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder.com. “While workplace relationships may be more accepted these days, with 72 percent of workers saying they didn’t have to keep their romance a secret, it’s still important for workers to keep it professional and not let their relationship impact their work.”

Twelve percent of workers reported that their relationships started when they ran into each other outside of work. Some other situations where office romances found their spark included:

  • Working late at the office (11 percent)
  • Happy hour (10 percent)
  • Lunch (10 percent)

Workers provided the following top five examples of the most romantic things they have done in the office:
1.) Had a drink together up on the roof.
2.) Danced to the elevator music in the hallway.
3.) Ate a late night picnic with candles after everyone had left.
4.) After a meeting, picked up my girlfriend in a limo and proposed to her.
5.) Left each other love post-it notes.

The survey also showed the repercussions of workplace romance, with 7 percent of workers saying they have left a job due to an office romance.