THROWBACK THURSDAY: What’s The Verdict On Office Romance?

Originally published on February 12, 2010, this story is part of FacilityBlog’s Throwback Thursday offering.

Posted by Heidi Schwartz

Economy up, economy down, one thing remains the same: love is in the air at the office. Nearly four-in-10 (37%) workers said they have dated a co-worker at some time during their careers, in line with the 40% who said the same in both 2009 and 2008. Additionally, 32% said they went on to marry the person they dated at work. This is according to CareerBuilder’s annual office romance survey of more than 5,200 workers.

Some workers are dating those above them on the office ladder. When it comes to dating higher ups, women were more likely than men to date someone above them in their company’s hierarchy. Thirty percent of women said they have dated someone who holds a higher position in their organization; 19% of men report they have done the same.

“Workplace relationships are more accepted these days, with 67% 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 Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “Employees are working longer hours and under increased pressure, creating an environment that could cause relationships to bloom. Workers need to keep it professional under all circumstances, though, to ensure that the quality of their work is not negatively impacted.”

Some workplace relationships may have their beginnings in current workplace crushes. Eight percent of workers currently work with someone who they would like to date, with more men (11%) than women (4%) 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

Haefner offers the following tips for workers who may 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 new “status,” 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.