Discomfort Doesn’t Stop Office Romance

February 10, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – Although workers report some negatives about romance with a colleague, 59% say they have had an office romance and of those who have had office romances, 63% said they would participate in one again.

Vault’s 2011 Office Romance Survey,found a little under a third of both sexes have suffered some level of discomfort over an intra-office relationship between two other co-workers, but women are significantly more likely to worry about the impact of their own workplace flings on their co-workers than men are. Of those who had been in office romances, 34% of women felt the experience impacted their personal or professional relationships with other coworkers, while just 26% of men report having felt the same way.  

While 23% of men and 15% of women claim to have had short-term flings at work, the numbers almost reverse when it comes to long-term, serious relationships blossoming at the office: 22% of women and just 14.7% of men report being in or having had such.  

According to a press release, relationships between coworkers at different levels were deemed to be the least appropriate out of any kind of office romance: 34% of respondents say such relationships are “unacceptable.”  

Of those respondents who had participated in office flings, fewer than 20% had dated a supervisor, and only a quarter had dated a subordinate. But where relationships at different levels do occur, men date subordinates twice as much as women do (34% vs. 13%), and are half as likely to have dated a supervisor (14% vs. 24%).  

Thirty-eight percent of respondents told Vault they felt they had been in situations where a coworker gained a professional advantage because of a romantic relationship with a colleague or superior.  

One-third of those who have had office romances admitted to having trysts in the office, with 4% getting caught in the act.  

Two-thirds (65%) of respondents say the down economy has had no effect on their willingness to take romantic risks at work, with only 31% claiming that they are less willing now than before the recession.