Are you looking for true love? Or just for someone to go out with on a Friday night? While there are hazards associated with seeking romance at the office, that doesn't stop a lot of us. Vault.com released their love at the office survey just in time for Valentine's Day. Here are some of the results:
- 19 percent of men reported instances of "random hookups" with colleagues, compared to 12 percent of women
- 17 percent of women report that office romances led to "long-term relationships", compared to just 11 percent of men
- 20 percent of women have dated a supervisor, while only 9 percent of men have dated their boss
- 25 percent of men have dated a subordinate while only 10 percent of women have dated their subordinate
On a cautionary note, many companies have policies against dating someone you supervise, so the risks of dating your subordinate or your boss are not limited to a broken heart, but can include unemployment. Many companies take this seriously.
Another (downer) thing to consider when thinking about office romance that if it goes sour, not only do you have to see this person every day, but more than one romance that started out as mutual has ended with one person going to Human Resources and making a sexual harassment claim.
However, despite the potential downsides, 70 percent of men and 62 percent of women would willingly engage in another office romance, although some are more cautious. One respondent said, "Yes, with the right person, but I wouldn't seek it out. I already work long hours so it makes it that much harder to find balance in my life; although it is nice to date someone who gets why I have to work late often."
One respondent who vowed to never participate in an office romance again, explained: "It was the worst decision I ever made and has had disastrous consequences for my professional reputation and office relationships. I don't think I've ever regretted anything more."
Sometimes the office relationship isn't just about "romance" but about making really bad decisions involving sex in the office: 32 percent of respondents admitted to having a tryst in the office, and 3 percent report being caught. Even companies that have no set policies against workplace romance will not take it kindly, or be terribly forgiving, when they find out you've been using the stockroom as your private playroom. It's not worth the risk.
Your odds change based on your industry. For whatever reason, different industries lend themselves more towards office romance than others. According to this particular survey, if you're looking for office romance, tailor your career appropriately. Here is a breakdown by industry.
Insurance (72 percent), Education (70 percent), Finance & Banking (60 percent), Government (60 percent), Manufacturing (59 percent), Tech (56 percent) and Energy (55 percent). The industries with the fewest office romances are Law and Accounting, both at 49 percent.
Vault's Office Romance Survey was conducted in January with responses from 1,864 employees representing various industries across the U.S. Men and women of varying ages discussed their office romances -- the outcome, the impact, and whether or not they would enter into another relationship with a co-worker.