Office Romances: Would You Date the Boss?
With smoochy cards dominating the shelves and petrol stations eagerly stocking up on last-minute roses, it can only mean one thing: Valentine’s Day is here, and office romances are blooming.
A high percentage of couples meet at work. It’s no surprise really – we typically spend upwards of five days per week there, working and mingling, and easily spending more time with colleagues than we do with friends or family. Barack and Michelle Obama met at work, as did Bill and Melinda Gates. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are another famous work-related couple – but we can’t blame the office for that one.
With office buildings becoming more open-plan, and private offices making way for shared workspaces, this trend is only set to continue. What’s more, the steady growth of coworking areas and serviced office centres – which provide space for multiple businesses with shared communal areas – only adds to the likelihood that you’ll bump into that special someone at work.
Jobs website CareerBuilder recently found that 39% of workers have dated a colleague at least once during the course of their career. And of those, 30% said the romance led to marriage.
Turning to slightly juicer gossip, the research goes on to reveal that 16% admitted they had dated their boss. A further 29% said they had dated someone above them on the company ladder. It went on to reveal that women were more likely to date someone above their level than men – with 38% of women compared to 21% of men hooking up with a higher-grade colleague.
It seems that career choice can hold a significant sway over office romances too. 26% of respondents said they were influenced by what their significant other does for a living, and only 6% said they broke up with someone because of their job.
And exactly where do these relationships begin? It seems that open-plan offices are not the only culprits in the so-called ‘office romance’. Pub Happy Hours, late nights at work, at lunch, in the lift, and running into each other outside of work are all popular places to kick-start a workplace romance.
If you’re hoping to attract the attentions of an office colleague this Valentine’s Day, you could ‘accidentally’ bump into them in the office. Or you could try throwing in the odd smiley in your email communications.
Last year, officebroker.com found out that some office colleagues got involved after exchanging smiley faces or kisses on emails, with 71% of women and 90% of men considering the wink face to be tantamount to a date proposal.
If that fails to get the message across, you could always go down the old fashioned route and buy them a drink at Happy Hour.
Have you ever had a work romance, and have you ever dated your boss? Bare all in the comment box below…
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