Workplace Romances Blossom For Managers

February 14, 2003 ( - Two-thirds of managers say that it's OK to date someone from work - and no wonder, since 30% of them have dated a co-worker, and nearly half (44%) of those relationships have matured into marriage.

In addition, nearly a quarter (23%) of the managers who have dated a co-worker have entered into a long-term relationship, and half of those relationships are still active, according to a recent survey of nearly 400 members of the American Management Association (AMA).

Meanwhile, an online poll of human-resource professionals by HRnext and its sister site,, finds that a comparable number (67%) of HR pros say that at their respective companies, employees giving valentines to each other “is OK by us.”

For what would seem to be obvious reasons, less than a quarter of the AMA respondents feel that it’s okay to date a superior or subordinate.   Still, most (84%) of the respondent organizations don’t have a written policy on employee dating.

Thirty percent of voters in the HRnext online poll of 772 responses said that “Employees giving valentines to each other…makes us nervous. (Lawsuits!),” while the remaining 3% said it “…makes us angry. (No fraternizing!)”

However, in the absence of policies prohibiting the activities, it is perhaps not surprising that 70% of the AMA respondents said coworkers were aware of the dating relationship, and 97% said no official action was taken by their employer as a result.   The vast majority (85%) said that co-worker knowledge of the relationship had no effect, while just 11% said the impact was negative.   Four percent said there was a positive reaction.