2 in 5 Workers Have Dated a Colleague

February 13th, 2017 Comments off
2 in 5 Workers Have Had an Office Romance

If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you work with. That seems to be the attitude more working Americans are taking these days. According to a new survey from CareerBuilder, 41 percent of American workers have had an office romance. The number is up from 37 percent who said the same last year and the highest it has been since 2007.

Of these workplace romances, 29 percent have been with a higher up – including the person’s boss –  and 19 percent have involved a co-worker who was married at the time.

And though romantic relationships between workers may be more common, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are accepted: 38 percent of workers who have had an office romance had to keep the relationship a secret.

What Does This Mean For You?

There’s good reason many employers are leery of office romances. If they go bad, it can take a toll on performance and morale. In fact, 5 percent of workers who have had office romances left their job when the relationship went sour. Banning office romances is unlikely to stop employees – and may only encourage them to sneak around; instead, consider creating an office romance policy to clarify the expectations around such relationships, should they occur. Make it clear that employees should keep their personal relationships from interfering with their jobs and to maintain professional behavior at all times.

Get more details from the study here.

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The Daily Grindr: Just How Common is Romance in the Workplace?

February 11th, 2016 Comments off
Boss catches colleagues kissing

If there’s anything TV shows like “Cheers,” “Mad Men” and “The Office” have taught us, it’s that nothing adds excitement to the workplace like a little romantic interlude. Perhaps that’s why so many workers have tried the same thing in real life.

A new study shows that life truly does imitate art when it comes to romance in the workplace. Nearly 2 in 5 workers (37 percent) have dated a co-worker, according to CareerBuilder’s annual Valentine’s Day survey. Of those relationships, 1 in 3 have led to marriage – much like “The Office”’s Jim and Pam.

Life’s imitation of art doesn’t end there, either. In a move reminiscent of Don and Megan from “Mad Men,” 23 percent of workers who have had an office romance dated someone in a higher position than them, with women more likely than men to have done so. And much like another romance between Sterling Cooper’s Roger and Joan, 17 percent of office affairs involved at least one person who was married at the time.

Much like scripted relationships, many real-life romances come to tragic ends. Five percent of workers who have had an office romance had to leave their job after a relationship took a nosedive.

Keeping Their Love Locked Down
Adding to the drama of rendezvousing at the office, 33 percent had to keep their relationship a secret from their co-workers – though not always successfully. More than one 1 in 4 workers who have had an office romance have run into co-workers while out with their office sweetheart, and 17 percent owned up to it.

Happily Ever After Hours
Among those who have had an office romance, more than 1 in 10 say their trysts began late night on the job (12 percent). The next most popular place for romance to blossom were after-work happy hours, followed by chance meetings outside of work, and over lunch. Nine percent of workers who have had an office romance claim they fell for their workplace loves at first sight.

Nothing to See Here, Folks
Then, of course, there are the Hollywood-worthy workplace relationships hold a closer resemblance to that of Liz and Jack from “30 Rock” or Mulder and Scully from “The X-Files”: Nearly 1 in 10 (8 percent) employees say they have a platonic “office spouse.”

Workplace Romances and HR: It’s Complicated
While office romances can be a slippery slope, only a minority of workers in office relationships have felt the need to keep their coupledom a secret, which may be a sign that most companies are tolerant of workplace romances – assuming employees are able to maintain professionalism. Still, many employers have employees sign “love contracts” to protect their organizations against sexual harassment claims or other legal action should relationships go south. If you fear negative results from workers mixing business with pleasure at your own organization, you may want to consider creating a similar document or making sure you have a policy in place to handle these situations.

When Co-Worker Collaboration Turns into Canoodling

February 11th, 2015 Comments off
Office romance header

Have you ever had a hunch that two employees may be more than just co-workers? Have you caught them looking longingly at each other across the conference table, or swore you spied them instant messaging kissing emoticons back and forth?

Your eyes may not be deceiving you. According to CareerBuilder’s annual Valentine’s Day survey, 37 percent of workers have dated a co-worker, and 30 percent of those office romances have led to marriage.

Office romance wedding vows

But not all have happy endings: 5 percent of employees have left a job because of a workplace relationship gone sour.

Office happy hours make hearts a flutter

While the attraction may have ignited at work, it often takes an outside-of-office outing to really make sparks fly.

Office romance beginnings

No love, actually

Workers may look for business advice from their colleagues, but they aren’t looking to date their colleagues’ exes. Twenty-five percent of workers say they deem someone who has already dated someone else at work “undateable.”

Other reasons for rejection include:

  • Doesn’t work on a consistent basis: 39 percent
  • Travels extensively for work: 21 percent
  • Has to work nights: 8 percent
  • Earns less money than me: 6 percent
  • Has to work weekends: 6 percent


When office romance turns risky

Navigating an office romance with a co-worker can be complicated enough, so if that co-worker also happens to be someone you manage, things can get very tricky. Yet it doesn’t stop workers from following their heart; of those who have had an office romance, 25 percent have dated someone in a higher position than them, including the boss.

And then there are the workers who are putting more than their jobs at risk by romancing a colleague: Nearly 1 in 5 workers has had an affair with a co-worker where one person involved was married at the time.

Does your office have rules around dating in the workplace? Have you ever had to confront workers in a relationship? Tell us in the comments section.