Romance between co-workers is more common than you might think—and the numbers may be on the rise. According to CareerBuilder’s annual Valentine’s Day survey, 41 percent of workers have dated a co-worker— up from 37 percent last year and the highest since 2007. The number of office romances that have led to marriage has remained the same, with 30 percent of these relationships resulting in a trip to the altar (or maybe Las Vegas).
Unfortunately, not all workplace relationships end happily ever after – and some result in more than heartbreak: 5 percent of workers who have had an office romance say they have left a job because of an office relationship gone sour.
Secret Love Affair
Of those who have had an office romance, more than 1 in 5 (29 percent, up from 23 percent last year) have dated someone in a higher position than them — a more common occurrence for women than men (33 percent versus 25 percent). Fifteen percent of workers who have had office romances say they have dated someone who was their boss.
Dating a superior is risky enough, but 19 percent of office romances involved at least one person who was married to someone else at the time.
It’s no wonder then that nearly two in five workers who have had an office romance (38 percent) had to keep the relationship a secret at work. Male workers were just as likely to keep their office romances secret (40 percent) compared to their female counterparts (37 percent).
Finally, the urge to keep your office romance a secret appears to be influenced by where you live: Workers in the Northeast are most likely to be secretive, at 45%. Following closely behind, with 41 percent, are those from the South. Those in the West (34 percent) and Midwest (31 percent) felt less compelled to keep their office love under wraps.