Survey: 38 Percent of Workers Have Dated a Co-Worker

Chicago — Feb. 13

Looking for a Valentine? The office may be a good place to start.

CareerBuilder’s annual survey on office romance found nearly two in five (38 percent) U.S. workers have dated someone who worked for the same company, and 16 percent said they have done so more than once.

The national survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from Nov. 6 to Dec. 2 and included 3,008 full-time, private-sector workers across industries and company sizes.

That budding office romance may even lead all the way to the altar — or possibly divorce court. Of those who dated someone from the office, nearly one-third (31 percent) ended up marrying their office sweetheart, according to the survey. Twenty percent of workers who dated someone at the office admitted that at least one person in the relationship was married at the time.

One quarter (24 percent) of workers who have dated a co-worker said their office sweetheart was higher up in the organization, including the boss. However, only 3 percent of workers who have had an office relationship said the relationship helped them progress in their career.

Some industries have more office romances than others, with leisure and hospitality topping the list (57 percent), followed by utilities (51 percent), IT (46 percent) and transportation (42 percent) — all of which outpace the national average. Other industries where romances are blossoming include financial services (38 percent), retail (35 percent), manufacturing (35 percent), health care (32 percent) and business services (26 percent).

Office romances most often start with co-workers running into each other outside of work (12 percent) or at a happy hour (11 percent), according to the survey. Some other situations that led to romance include late nights at work (10 percent), having lunch together (10 percent) and love at first sight (9 percent).

While most workers were open about their dating situation, nearly two in five (39 percent) said they had to keep their relationship with a co-worker a secret. Twenty-six percent of respondents who have dated someone at work said they accidentally ran into co-workers while out socially with their office sweetheart. Of these workers, 43 percent pretended that they weren’t dating their co-worker, the survey said.

Source: CareerBuilder