Love is (Still) in the Air at Work

Romance is still blossoming at the water cooler.
Some 37% of workers recently polled confessed they have had an office romance at some point during their careers—down only slightly from the 40% making such an admission in similar 2008 and 2009 surveys, CareerBuilder said about its latest office romance survey. Not only is office dating widespread, but 32% of those with significant other/colleagues went on to get hitched to the colleague.

A CareerBuilder announcement said women were more likely to date someone senior to them on the company organizational chart (30% of women versus 19% of men).

How do such things get started? Eight percent of workers currently work with someone who they would like to date, with more men (11%) than women (4%) casting a longing eye toward their colleague. For 12% of workers, their new dating partner was a colleague they had encountered outside of work.  According to CareerBuilder, popular places for sparks to fly are: happy hour, lunch, working late at the office, company holiday party, and on a business trip.

Finally, from the Love-Gone-Wrong department, 5% of workers said they had actually left a job because of an office romance.

“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, in the news release. “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.”

The survey was conducted in November online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of among 5,231 employees (employed full-time; not self-employed; non-government) ages 18 and over.