Love Is in the Air at the Workplace

February 14, 2014 ( – Workplace romances are not merely the stuff of TV sitcoms, according to a new survey.

CareerBuilder finds more than one-third of employees (38%) have dated someone who worked for the same company, with 16% having done so more than once.

Of those who dated someone from the office, nearly one-third (31%) ended up marrying their office sweetheart. Twenty percent of employees who dated someone at the office admitted at least one person in the relationship was married at the time.

One-quarter (24%) of employees who have dated a co-worker say their office sweetheart was higher up in the organization, including the boss. But only 3% say the relationship helped them progress in their career.

More office romances seem to occur in the leisure and hospitality field (57%), followed by utilities (51%), information technology (46%) and transportation (42%), all of which outpace the national average. Other industries where romances are blossoming include financial services (38%), retail (35%), manufacturing (35%), health care (32%) and business services (26%).

According to the survey, office romances often start with coworkers running into each other outside of work (12%) or at a happy hour (11%). Some other situations that led to romance include late nights at work (10%), having lunch together (10%), and love at first sight (9%).

While most employees were found to be open about their dating situation, 39% say they had to keep their relationship with a coworker a secret. Twenty-six percent of respondents who have dated someone at work said they accidentally ran into coworkers while out socially with their office sweetheart. Of these employees, 43% pretended that they weren’t dating their co-worker.

Seven percent of workers who have dated a coworker reported having to leave their jobs because their office romance soured.

The survey was conducted online, within the United States, by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder. A total of 3,008 full-time employees, ages 18 and older, were queried between November 6 and December 2, 2013.