Whether it led to lifetime commitment, a lifetime of regret, or something in between, fully half of our respondents admitted to having had some kind of fling with a colleague. Unsurprisingly, shorter flings are more likely: 22% of men and 15% of women have had a random workplace hookup, while fewer than 10% of either gender met their spouse at work.
As for that regret thing: 71% of men would do it again, while 43% of women would not.
While the majority of respondents don't have a problem with relationships between colleagues in principle, many believe that some rules should apply. The most common "unacceptable" romances: co-workers at different levels (33%); those who work on projects together (30%); and those who work in the same department (24%). At the other end of the scale, just 6% of respondents believe that workplace romances are never acceptable.
Relationships between superiors and subordinates might be seen as unacceptable, but they're very common: 23% of those who have had a romance at work have dated a subordinate, and 16% have dated a supervisor.
No surprise how that breaks down along gender lines: men are more likely to have dated a subordinate (32% have done so, compared to 12% of women), while women are more likely to have dated a supervisor (20% to 13%, respectively).
According to our data, 32% of office romances involve some sort of at-work tryst—with 5% of those getting caught in the act. Our advice? Let someone else investigate the strange noises coming from the server room.
Almost a third of survey respondents felt that a co-worker gained a professional advantage because of a romantic relationship with a co-worker or supervisor. Interestingly, only 26% reported feeling uncomfortable with a colleague's workplace romance.
Makes you wonder who the 7% are that think a colleague is gaining an advantage, but who aren't uncomfortable with it…
There's no place like work for meeting someone (else) to have a relationship with: 19% of survey respondents have been involved in an office affair while at least one of the parties was married or in a long-term relationship with someone else.
And if you're doing it, chances are your colleagues know: 46% of respondents copped to knowing about a married colleague's workplace affair, while 35% have known a married or seriously involved co-worker who had a romantic liaison while on a business trip for the company.
Almost a quarter of respondents who had an affair at the office said that it resulted in the end of a marriage or long-term relationship.
And the effects don't end at home: 13% of those who had an affair saw it impact their colleague’s career, while 12% reported that their affair affected their own career.
66% of baby boomers have had a workplace fling of some description, followed by 59% of Gen X'ers. Those aged between 18 and 34 have some catching up to do: just 44% have ever hooked up with a colleague.
If one of your prerequisites for choosing a job is the opportunity for romance, you may want to enter the hospitality and tourism industry, which ranked highest among industries where office romances are most common, with 61% of employees saying they’ve had some kind of workplace relationship. That places them ahead of consumer products (59%), retail and advertising (both at 58%), government (54%), human resources (53%) and technology (51%).
At the other end of the spectrum, those who work in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals are the least likely to hook up with one another (24%), followed by environment and accounting (both at 27%), internet and new media (33%), law (34%), real estate (35%), and both manufacturing and education (39%).