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It might not be written in black-and-white in the company’s regulation handbook but everyone knows that an office romance is something that should be avoided.
But research shows otherwise, according to this year’s Vault Office Romance survey, 51% of the respondents have had an office romance at some point in their careers, and one in five respondents (19%) admitted to currently having an affair with a co-worker.
Respondents were asked whether they suffered any negative effects as a result of the affair either in their career or personal life, and existing relationships were found to be affected more often than careers.
Another 23% of those who had had affairs admitted that it had ended either their own or their colleague’s marriage or long-term relationship, while just 14% reported career setbacks related to the affair.
While most see dating in the office as no more than a fling, 30% of those who have dated a co-worker said their office romance led them to the altar, according to CareerBuilder’s annual office romance survey. This “success rate” seems to be higher than most dating websites or speed dating encounters.
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While affairs within the office remain a taboo subject at workplaces in Hong Kong, Vault’s survey found that office romances are gradually becoming more and more acceptable in the US.
It revealed just 5% of respondents believe office romances are inappropriate, down from 9% in 2011.
Additionally, more respondents than ever (29%) are of the opinion that all romantic connections in the workplace are appropriate — including those between superiors and their subordinate.
According to CareerBuilder, social settings outside of the office were cited most often in regard to workers connecting on a romantic level.
Running into each other outside of work (12%), happy hours (12%), late nights at work (12%), followed by lunch (11%) were among the most popular catalysts for dating co-workers.