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by Rachel Marx Boufford | March 31, 2009


The results of's annual Office Romance Survey are in, and workplace hook-ups are all the rage. According to Vault's survey, 82% of respondents have known of an office romance between co-workers.

One respondent said, "There have been countless numbers of office romances. Several are now married; many have been living together for years."

Here are some more eye-opening findings from Vault's 2008 Office Romance Survey.

Long-Term Love

Almost half of all survey respondents, 46%, admitted to having had an office romance, and true love ruled for 20%, who met their spouses or long-term significant others on the job. Regarding co-workers, 50% said they knew of colleagues that went on to get married after meeting and starting a relationship at work.

Married at Home, Not at Work

Apparently, many married employees are acting single at work, as 48% of respondents said they have known a married co-worker to have an affair with someone at the office. In addition, 40% have known of a married or seriously involved co-worker who had a romantic liaison with someone else while on a business trip for the company. According to one respondent, "We all knew her husband, and it made us extremely uncomfortable."

Dating Above and Below

Employees should stick to dating co-workers who are at their same level or in a different department at the company. However, it doesn't always work out that way, as 15% of respondents admitted to dating their boss or another superior, and the same number have confessed to dating a subordinate.

Co-Worker Involvement

Co-workers play a crucial role in our everyday lives, but sometimes their role can be more life-changing than one ever imagined; 10% of survey-takers said that they met their spouse or long-term significant other through co-workers. On the other hand, life at work with some of our office mates can be an ordeal as 43% said that a co-worker has made an unwanted advance toward them. Many times, though, co-workers can become close friends, even those of the opposite sex. Of those surveyed, 30% said they had an office "husband" or "wife," someone they spend much of the day with (lunches, breaks and watercooler gossip sessions), but for whom they have no romantic feelings. One respondent said, "My boyfriend knew my 'office husband' was the only other sane person at our company, so he was the only person I could really talk to during the day."

Company Policy

Most companies seem to realize that you can't control Cupid. Office romance is going to happen, and 19% of organizations have a policy to deal with it. These rules range from having to notify HR, sign a consensual relationship form or switch departments if a romance is occurring, to banning relationships between co-workers altogether. Most couples that have had an office romance continue to work together, but 9% said one of them left due to awkwardness after a break-up; 6% said one person left because they didn't want to work together after becoming a couple (to much "closeness"); and 4% said one had to leave because of a company policy against office romance.

Love at the (Actual) Office

Long hours spent at the workplace apparently include the occasional romantic tryst; 23% of survey respondents admit to meeting up for some clandestine coupling at the office. Places trysts have occurred include the boardroom, the janitor's closet, the break room, a stairwell, the parking lot, the restroom, and the boss' office. Luckily for the participants, only 3% have been caught in the act.

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Filed Under: Workplace Issues