In honor of Valentine’s Day tomorrow (you’re welcome for the reminder, gentlemen) we’re going to take a look at the current state of office romance in America. Romance in the workplace is often glamorized in film and on TV, as in shows like The Office. But what does it look like in real life? Is it really a good idea to date someone you work with 40 hours a week? Or is it just a natural result of spending so much time with the same people?
A case can be made for both sides, of course. No one can deny the awkwardness that comes from working with someone you went through a nasty breakup with (and the annoyance that comes from co-workers who have to work with you both), but there are also examples of bona fide power couples who met at work. For example, President Obama met First Lady Michelle Obama when she was his supervisor at a Chicago law firm. Bill and Melinda Gates met at a Microsoft press event in 1987. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie met on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
But what about those of us who live in the real world? A 2012 CareerBuilder.com survey revealed some interesting facts about the current state of the typical office romance:
- 38% of workers said they had dated a coworker at least once
- 31% of those who dated at work said their office romances led to marriage
- 28% of those who dated a colleague said they went out with someone above them on the company ladder
- 18% dated their boss
- 35% of women said they had dated someone above their level
- 24% of men said they had dated someone above their level
- 45% of workers in the hospitality industry and financial services industry have dated a coworker
- 26% of respondents said that a person’s occupation influenced their decision to date that person or not
- 5% said they broke up with someone because of their job
- 13% of office romances begin by running into each other outside work
- 12% of office romances begin at happy hours and lunches
- 37% keep their relationships a secret
- 7% said there was currently someone in their office they would like to date
Have you ever dated someone from work? How did it turn out? We invite you to share your story in the comment section below.
Additional link: Power Couples who met at work: A slideshow courtesy of Forbes.com
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