Home World NewsUnited Kingdom Nearly a third of employees admit to workplace romance since returning to office, study finds

Nearly a third of employees admit to workplace romance since returning to office, study finds

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Nearly one-third of workers say that they have had a romantic relationship at work since returning to the office, after a pandemic-related hiatus from showing up in person, according to a survey from career site Resume Builder.  

During the past year, many major corporations have implemented mandatory return-to-office policies, forcing employees to work in person at least a couple of days a week. 

Half of those who said they’ve experienced workplace romance said their relationship was with a superior, while 46% said they had a relationship with a subordinate. The majority of those in relationships with work colleagues said they did not inform human resources about it, the survey found. 

Office relationships are often frowned upon, especially if the relationship violates company policy. 

“I encourage people to check their employee handbook for policies around dating co-workers. Some places don’t allow it, and others require you to acknowledge the relationship,” said Resume Builder’s Resume and Career Strategist Julia Toothacre in an article on the study on the Resume Builder website.

Understanding the implications

Two-thirds of employees who’d been in relationships with colleagues said it had a positive impact on their work, Resume Builder found. But romantic relationships at the office can also lead to distractions and conflicts within the workplace.

“While in-office romance has always been around, it’s important to understand the implications of these relationships,” Toothacre said. “There is a power dynamic when it’s a boss/subordinate relationship, which can lead to things like favoritism or getting let go if the relationship ends.”

Of those who started a romantic relationship at the office, 46% said they had a relationship with one colleague, while 41% say they’d been in relationships with two coworkers. Fourteen percent said they’ve dated three or more people they met at work. 

Less than half — 47% — of those surveyed say they saw no potential for romance at work, and have neither started a romantic relationship nor had a crush on any colleagues.

Resume Builder surveyed nearly 1,500 people in February 2024. 

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