36% of U.S. workers are having an office romance

February 2, 2018

Is the current #MeToo moment in our society driving down the number of office romances? Based on the findings of CareerBuilder’s Annual Valentine’s Day Survey—conducted by The Harris Poll and released on February 1—office hook-ups are at a ten-year low, with 36% of workers reporting dating someone at their place of employment, down from 41% last year.

Thirty-seven percent of men say they have dated a co-worker compared to 35% of women.

“Office romance is experiencing a dip,” said CareerBuilder’s Chief HR Officer Rosemary Haefner. “To avoid negative consequences at work, it’s important to set ground rules within your relationship that help you stay professional in the office and keep your personal life private.”

Indeed, she points out, before getting into a relationship in the office, it may be best to avoid two types of workers—those to whom you report and those who report to you.

Twenty-two percent of workers have dated someone who was their boss at the time. Of those who have dated at work, more than one-quarter of women (27%) say they have dated someone who was their boss compared to just 16%. Additionally, 30 % of workers say they have dated someone who was at a higher level in the organization than they were.

Of course, some relationships that start at work have a happy ending: Thirty-one percent of workers who dated at work ended up getting married.

However, it’s not always happily ever after. Nearly one-quarter of workers (24%t) had an affair with a colleague when one person involved was married at the time (27% of men versus 21% of women). Six percent of workers have left a job because a romantic relationship with someone at work went sour (9% of women versus 3% of men).

Haefner recommends these tips for workers exploring a romantic relationship with a coworker.

  • Check the rules. In some cases, employers have a policy that prohibits employees from dating one another.
  • Keep your personal life out of the office. Keep your personal life out of your work one—and beware of social media. While 41% of workers today choose to keep their relationship a secret at work, posting on social media may make it much more difficult to keep from your coworkers.
  • Don’t let your romance impact your relationship with your coworkers. If you don’t properly separate your romantic and work life, your romance may color people’s judgment with regard to promotions, projects, team building and responsibilities.

This survey was conducted online nationwide among 809 employees ages 18 and over (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) .

Research contact: Rachel.nauen@careerbuilder.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *