Forget bars and dating apps. It seems the office is one of the most common places to find a date – or so workplace affairs statistics tell us.
Seeing someone you work with can be a fantastic experience. You’d always have something to talk about, you’d be able to see each other all the time, and it can make Mondays much more exciting.
But before you go off exploring the wonders of work place romances, make sure to consider all the consequences and possible outcomes. Are you aware of all the risks and dangers? Are you ready to face the music if things don’t work out? Is your workplace actaully ok with this?
Look through these awesome stats and facts to discover what office romance is all about.
The Key Workplace Romance Statistics to Be Aware Of in 2020
- 58% of employees in a 2019 survey have had a romantic relationship with a coworker.
- 28% of respondents believe that all office relationships are “fair game.”
- Claims of sexual harassment are the number one reason why people avoid office romance.
- Almost 40% of people who had an affair at work were owners or executives at the company.
- The number of supervisor-subordinate work place romances went down in 2019.
- 85% of affairs outside of marriage start at the office, workplace romance statistics show.
- Emotional affairs are the most common type of infidelity at work.
- 41% of employees are not aware of company policies on workplace romance.
- Only 16% of romantically involved coworkers have told others about their relationship.
- 17% of workplace relationships have started at social gatherings.
How Common Are Workplace Affairs?
1. 58% of employees in a 2019 survey have had a romantic relationship with a coworker.
That’s over half of the employees who have engaged in a workplace romance. Even more surprising, 72% of employees over 50 have been in a relationship with a colleague, while only 30% of 18 to 21 year-olds have had a relationship at work. 42%, on the other hand, have never had any affairs in the workplace, the latest surveys show.
2. 31% of employees said that they’ve hooked up with a colleague.
According to workplace romance statistics for 2019, random hookups are the most common type of office romance. 18% of respondents said that they met their spouse at work, while 22% of those who have had an affair with a coworker said that it was a serious, long-term relationship.
3. A 2017 poll showed that 37% of men had dated a colleague.
There doesn’t seem to be much difference in gender, as 35% of women had a relationship with someone at work. However, when it comes to multiple affairs, workplace romance statistics show that 20% of male employees had dated a coworker two or more times throughout their career as opposed to just 15% of women.
4. 72% of employees said that they would get involved with a coworker again if they had the chance.
Most of those surveyed said they would jump into work place romances in a second if they had the opportunity, with many of them saying that the relationship they had in the past didn’t impact their life or work.
5. The hospitality industry has the highest percentage of office romances, workplace affairs statistics indicate.
With 47% of staff in the hospitality industry engaged in office romances, working in this sector makes it more likely to find love at work. Then, you have the financial services industry (45%), and transportation and utilities (43%). 40% of workers in the IT industry and 38% of staff in healthcare said they were involved in a workplace romance.
What Do Employees Think About Romantic Work Relationships?
6. 28% of respondents believe that all office relationships are “fair game”.
Workplace affairs statistics and surveys show that there are mixed opinions when it comes to affairs in the workplace. 34% think that relationships between coworkers at different levels are not acceptable, while 26% said that they disapproved of romances between colleagues working on the same project. Only 6% said that they disapprove of all kinds of work romances.
7. 39% of respondents in a global poll are against workplace affairs.
It seems that less than half of respondents are aware of the real-life workplace romance drama that affairs in the workplace can cause, with 39% saying they believe an office affair would harm their career, while only 27% said that they would consider dating a coworker. Interestingly, 19% know that work romances might jeopardize their career, but they would start one anyway if there was a mutual attraction.
8. Claims of sexual harassment are the number one reason why people avoid office romance.
37% of employees in a survey said that they purposefully avoided any office romance. Nearly a fifth of respondents cited fear of claims of sexual harassment as one of the biggest workplace romance problems and the main reason why they had never been romantically involved with a coworker.
9. 56% said they did not engage in an office romance because they weren’t interested.
33% of those who had never had any romantic work relationships said that they avoided them because they found such affairs to be unprofessional. In contrast, a quarter said they were worried about reactions from their employers, and 22% stated that they wouldn’t like being gossiped about around the office. In fact, a typical office romance story ends either due to the fear of being fired or the fear of being the target of workplace gossip.
Who Is Dating Whom at the Office?
10. Almost 40% of people who had an affair at work were owners or executives at the company.
According to the survey, from the 25% of employees engaged in romantic work relationships, almost half were top-people at the company. Also, workplace romance statistics in 2017 found that 26% of workers who had an office romance were middle-management, 25% were intermediate level, and the rest were low-level employees.
11. 22% of workers said they had dated their boss, while…
Women are more likely to date their superiors. 27% of women admitted to going out with someone who was their superior at the time, as opposed to only 16% of male workers who had romantic work relationships with their boss.
12. …. 30% of workers admit to dating someone higher up in the organizational hierarchy than them, workplace romance statistics for 2018 reveal.
Once again, the dating stats claim that women are more likely than men to go out with someone who ranks higher in their company than they do. To that effect, 35% of female employees had a relationship with someone more senior compared to 25% of their male coworkers.
13. The number of supervisor-subordinate work place romances went down in 2019.
The percentage of work romances between superiors and subordinates has never been lower, with 13% of supervisors saying that they dated a subordinate, office romance statistics show. Following the #MeToo movement, it seems only natural that awareness is raised over power dynamics and appropriate workplace conduct.
Workplace Infidelity Statistics
14. One in five employees cheated on their partner with a colleague.
44% of employees said that they know colleagues who had been involved in extramarital affairs in the workplace. What’s more, 19% of employees admitted that they had cheated on their significant other with someone from work.
15. 85% of affairs outside of marriage start at the office, workplace romance statistics show.
Late nights at the office, long work trips, common interests – add it all up, and it becomes clear why so many extramarital relationships begin at work.
16. Emotional affairs are the most common type of infidelity at work.
(Couples Therapy Inc; Verywell Mind)
Simply put, an emotional affair is when you’re just friends, but there is still sexual chemistry and attraction present. Emotional affairs can quickly turn into physical ones, especially in the workplace, which is why 73% of emotional affairs start at the office, statistics on workplace romance reveal.
17. 45% of men and 35% of women admitted to having an emotional affair.
Just for comparison, only 20% of workers admitted to having a physical affair. Even though they are not physical, emotional affairs with a coworker still count as workplace infidelity.
18. The majority of female workers think that an emotional affair leads to a physical one.
92% in a survey of 6,330 women feel that an emotional affair can easily turn into a physical one, whereas, according to office romance statistics, only 8% of female employees believe that this is not the case.
Company Policies and Keeping Secrets
19. 41% of employees are not aware of company policies on workplace romance.
This is an alarming stat. With such a considerable percentage of employees not being familiar with the rules on work romances, it would explain why over half of the workforce engages in romantic relationships with coworkers.
20. Only 16% of romantically involved coworkers told others about their relationship.
From the percentage of couples who met at work, the majority, or 64%, kept their relationship a secret from most people – 26% told a select few, while 38% didn’t tell anyone. Concerns over the employer’s reaction stopped 25% of workers from telling anybody about their office romance.
21. Only 11% of dating coworkers were punished by their company.
The blowback employees received from companies for starting an office romance usually took the form of a transfer to another department. When it comes to how to handle workplace affairs and make them work, keeping it a secret is not a good idea. It is always better to keep the HR informed so they can monitor the situation and prevent any possible repercussions in terms of work quality and efficiency, as well as inappropriate behavior, which continues with 25% of women reporting cases of sexual harassment at work.
22. 75% of HR professionals say that “love contracts” are not effective.
How to handle office romance as a manager? First, make sure you are informed of any romantic work relationships within the company, including extramarital affairs. Some companies introduce “love contracts,” documents stating that the relationship is voluntary and consensual, limiting the liability of the employer. However, the majority of HR managers believe that such contracts only encourage workers to hide their affair. The best method is to clearly communicate company policies form the get-go, i.e., before these relationships even start to form.
Beginnings and Endings
23. 17% of workplace relationships started at social gatherings.
How to start an office romance? Well, it’s not just about having a couple of drinks and hooking up with a random guy or girl from work. Actually, only a small percentage of office affairs started during the happy hour or holiday parties. 26% of respondents, however, started their affair by working in the same department and 18% by having offices close to each other.
24. Office romances can lead to marriage.
(New York Daily News)
What percentage of married couples met at work? Surveys show that 22% of married couples in the US met at work. Well, this is a stat that should give HR something to think about. Even though social media and dating apps are the most popular way couples meet in the US, the office is ranked second, followed by meeting through friends (19%) and meeting in a bar or club (9%).
25. 6% of employees left their job because of an office romance.
9% of female and 3% of male workers said they left their job because their romantic relationship at work ended badly.
What are some of the workplace romance pros and cons?
Dating someone at work could be a dream come true or an absolute nightmare. Depends on how you look at it.
- You get to know someone naturally, instead of being fixed-up or using dating apps;
- You are more likely to share the same interests;
- Observing positive personality traits at work can be a good foundation for a relationship.
- Coworkers gossip and spread rumors;
- Power dynamics could stir up trouble in the relationship;
- You spend all your time together;
- You could endanger your career.
How do you avoid workplace affairs?
Workplace affairs can get very messy. From awkward meetings around the office and uncomfortable situations to dismissals and legal consequences, there is a risk that your office romance will hurt both your career and your heart. Considering this, the best thing to do would be not to engage in romantic work relationships, which is sometimes easier said than done. How do I stay away from office romance?
- Clearly state that you are in a committed relationship;
- Avoid going alone to social events and business trips with coworkers;
- Avoid talking about your personal life at work.
However, there is no fool-proof way to avoid having an affair at work. Sometimes it’s premeditated, and sometimes it just happens. But if you feel an emotional connection to a colleague, other than platonic, you might want to consider letting the friendship cool off for a while and focus more on your relationship or marriage.
How do you tell if a coworker is in love with you?
Your coworker talks to you more than they do with others, brings you coffee, asks you about your day, or praises you in front of other colleagues. How to tell whether your coworker is simply being friendly or is interested in you romantically? Body language, like touching you accidentally, or asking you out to lunch or coffee are some of the signs that indicate romantic interest. That being said, it’s important to distinguish between flirtation and sexual harassment in the workplace. Flirting with a coworker, or a superior, can turn into an unpleasant affair, so it’s crucial to set some boundaries.
Are office romances common?
In 2018, workplace romances hit the lowest point in 10 years, with 36% of employees saying they were dating a coworker. This is down from 40% in 2008. Even though they are on the decline, work romances are still pretty common.
Before We Part Ways
Most of the time, love just happens. You could be sitting in the office, going about your business, and the love of your life could walk in at that exact moment. Or you could know a coworker for years and build a friendship that eventually grows into something more. There are no rules when it comes to love. But there are rules in the office.
So, use these workplace affairs statistics to help you identify the pitfalls of an office romance and hopefully avoid them.