Workplace Romances Heat Up

January 31, 2005 ( - Love springs eternal, and according to a new workplace survey, it appears to be springing forth in the workplace more than ever.

Career publisher Vault, Inc., reports that more than half (58%) of employees surveyed in January say they have been involved in an office romance, up from 46% in Vault’s survey two years ago. However, while office romances are on the rise, people remain wary about advertising them, with fewer than one in five (19%) opting to be completely open about their relationships. Some revealed their situations to a select few; 22.5% were open about it only with certain close friends.

Their efforts at discretion aren’t always successful. Nearly a quarter (22.5%) tried to hide their relationships, but a few people found out – and 10% of people tried to hide their office romances but were discovered by almost everyone at the company. Still, 26% succeeded in hiding their relationships from everyone at their workplaces.

Office romances appears to more acceptable these days than in the past, as most respondents were either unaware of any company policy regarding workplace dating (44%), or replied that there is no policy governing office romances (39%). Of those who stated that a policy exists (17%), it usually involved managers not being permitted to date subordinates. Still, Vault’s 2005 Office Romance Survey found that 14% of respondents have dated a boss or superior, while 19% have dated a subordinate.

When survey respondents were asked if there was currently an office romance happening between two co-workers at their companies, a plurality (43%) said yes; 38% said they did not know whether an office romance was taking place, and 19% said there was no workplace dating at their companies.

On a more prurient note, some of these entanglements are literally taking place AT the office. Nearly a quarter (23%) admitted to trysts within office walls, most in an office. Next most common were the restroom, followed by the conference room. Other places cited include the stairwell, elevator, the boss’s office, a cubicle, the copy room, closet, and the lunchroom.

Not all office romances are of the short-term variety, however. Twenty-two percent of the 610 respondents report having met their spouse or significant other on the job.