Office Romances OK, if Doesn't Interfere with Work

February 7, 2007 ( - Employees are generally accepting of office romances as long as they don't interfere with work, according to a recent survey by Vault Inc.

According to the survey of 575 U.S. workers, the number of respondents who have been in an office romance and those that haven’t is nearly split down the middle, 47% and 42%, respectively. Some 11% said they haven’t been in an office relationship but would be willing to date someone at the office.

Most workers date within their rank at work, according to the survey, which showed that it was less common for a worker to date the boss, with only about one in five (19%) saying they had and 81% saying they hadn’t. Eighty-five percent of respondents said they had never dated a subordinate and 15% said they had.

Eighty-one percent of workers say they have had an affair at the office but only 17% of report being caught in the act.

Responses were nearly split in thirds when respondents where asked whether they had known a married co-worker to have an affair with someone at the office, with 33% saying yes, 36% saying no, and 31% saying they didn’t know.

The survey also found that most workers (43%) say their companies do not have formalized policies on office dating, compared to 41% who say they don’t know and 16% who say there is a policy in place.

When asked what they would do about an office romance if they were a manager, respondents said:

  • Nothing, 10%
  • Interfere only if work was compromised, 58%;
  • Discuss the situation with both parties, 21%;
  • Have them sign a consensual relationship agreement, 7%; and
  • Terminate one or both parties involved, 1%.