One-in-Ten Workers Have Dated Co-Workers at Least Twice During Their Career, Finds Annual CareerBuilder Canada Valentine's Day Survey
--Nearly four-in-ten workers married a person they dated at work--
PR Newswire

TORONTO, Feb. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Looking for love in all the wrong places? Workers are turning to the once "taboo" office pool in search of companionship and it appears to be paying off.  Thirty-one per cent of workers say they have dated someone they work with over their career; 11 per cent report dating co-workers at least twice during their career. Additionally, 38 per cent report they went on to marry the person they dated in the office.  This is according to CareerBuilder's annual office romance survey of more than 500 Canadian workers.  Of those who have dated in the workplace, nearly one-in-ten workers (8 per cent) say they have dated someone at work within the last year.

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.  Twenty-six per cent of women said they have dated someone who holds a higher position in their organization; 17 per cent of men report they have done the same.

"Workplace relationships no longer carry the stigma they once did, as 34 per cent of workers said 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.  "Especially in this economy, workers are spending more time in the office and the lines between working and socializing are being crossed.  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.  Nine per cent of workers currently work with someone who they would like to date, with more men (16 per cent) than women (2 per cent) reporting they would like to do so.

Eighteen per cent of workers reported that their relationships started at lunch.  Some other situations where Cupid's arrow flew between co-workers include:

  • Happy hour
  • 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 policy on office dating: While some companies may have a formal policy, others may not have anything at all.  Make sure both parties in the relationship are aware of potential rules or consequences.
  • Social media – office relationship friend or foe?: Before you start posting pictures and status updates about your newfound coupledom, it may be better to inform your co-workers or boss in person.  That way, there is less chance for gossip or speculation.
  • Keep the relationship out of the office: Do your best to maintain professionalism and not let the dating issues affect your performance or others on the job.

The survey also showed the repercussions of workplace romance, with 6 percent of workers saying they have left a job due to an office romance.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within Canada by Harris Interactive© on behalf of among 550 Canadian workers (employed full-time; not self-employed; non-government) ages 18 and over between November 15 and December 2, 2010 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 550 one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 4.18 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

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Michael Erwin