I don’t know how many companies still forbid office romances but I worked for one that did. It was broadcasting company in Austin, Texas and this was during the late ’90s. Long story, short, I dated a co-worker, despite the breach of corporate policy, and we’ve been married for over twenty years now. But I understand why companies might want to discourage their employees from dating one another. Break-ups between co-workers can be messy on a number of levels.
According to a recent survey, close to 50% of people asked have had at least one workplace romance. The average office romances lasts just over 10 months. More than 20% of people had three or more flings with office colleagues. Of those who’ve had an office romance, about 20% are still with their co-worker. And 16% of people are still working with their former flings. Awkward.
It makes sense that so many people would pursue romantic relationships where they work. We spend so much time there. In fact, that’s the top reasons why office romances are so common:
- 75% of people say it’s because they spend so much time with the people they work with every day.
- 55% chalk it up to work nights out and other social engagements, which can lead to flirting.
- 20% add that a secret office romance makes boring day-to-day office life more exciting.
I wonder if office romances are down this year. It must be a lot harder to initiate one when you’re working remotely. You can’t really flirt with anyone during a big Zoom meeting, can you? Then again, bars are still closed so maybe Zoom should launch a separate virtual meeting space for single co-workers that could only be activated after 5:00 PM.