Looking for a Valentine? The office may be a good place to start. But beware the pitfalls, a survey suggests.
A recent CareerBuilder survey — which was given to private sector workers across industries and company sizes — found that 41 percent of U.S. workers have dated someone who worked for the same company. Sixteen percent said they’ve done so more than once.
Seven percent said they currently work with someone they’d like to date this year.
The Coast is ripe for office romance, according to the survey.
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The survey concluded that the leisure and hospitality industry — which would include casino, restaurant and hotel employees — has more office romances than any other industry (57 percent).
This is followed by the utility industry (51 percent), information technology (46 percent), transportation (42 percent), financial services (38 percent), retail (35 percent), manufacturing (35 percent), and healthcare (32 percent) industries.
Wedding bells or pink slip
The survey revealed that workplace romances aren’t only common, but in some cases can lead to marriage.
Of those who dated someone from the office, 31 percent ended up marrying their office sweetheart.
However, it also showed some workers said they felt forced to leave their jobs.
Of those who have dated someone at work, 20 percent admitted at least one person in the relationship was married at the time. Seven percent said they left their jobs when a relationship soured.
A quarter of workers who have dated a co-worker said their office sweetheart was higher up in the organization, including the boss. Yet only 3 percent said the relationship helped them progress in their career.
Thirty nine percent said they had to keep their relationship with a co-worker secret. About a quarter (26 percent) said they accidentally ran into co-workers while out socially with their workplace partner. Of these, a little less than half pretended that they weren’t dating.
Romances are most likely sparked up when co-workers run into each other outside of work, the survey found. Within the workplace, the survey found late nights at the office, having lunch together or love at first sight were the most common relationship beginnings.
More than 2 in 5 employees are uncertain if their company has a dating policy in place, the survey found. With Valentine’s Day this week, CareerBuilder offered some tips for navigating a workplace romance.
▪ Check the company handbook. Some companies have strict policies around office romances. Acquaint yourself with the rules before turning a professional relationship into a personal one.
▪ Proceed with caution. Some romances lead into marriage, but others can lead into disaster. Take the time to get to know someone first and carefully weigh risks and benefits.
▪ Keep work life separate from home life. Avoid showing public displays of affection in the office and don’t involve co-workers in personal disagreements.
▪ Be careful what you post on social media. You can end up outing your relationship before you’re ready to discuss it.
The survey was conducted among 3,411 employees aged 18 and over.