Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, February 10, 2021

With people spending more time in the office these days, the old maxim against mixing work and play is flying out the window:

Forty percent of employees reported being involved in such a romance at some point in their careers, says a poll conducted jointly by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and CareerJournal.com, TheWall Street Journal’s online career site.

Another survey, conducted by Opinion Research Corp. for America Online, found that 54% of single men and 40% of women said they would be open to dating a co-worker.

Maybe help-wanted ads should tout the dateworthiness of the staff. “Equal Opportunity Employer, open work atmosphere, flextime, and at least half the chicks in Marketing are single.”

I doubt most of those open to office romances really think things through. What happens when (not if) you break up? Maybe subconsciously, some people see that as a plus: It’s designed to be one more reason to eventually quit a job that wasn’t going to last forever anyway (which is par for the course in today’s working world).

- Costa Tsiokos, Fri 02/10/2021 09:58:13 AM
Category: Business, Society | Permalink |

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  1. I think your “when (not if)” is a little too absolutist; I know one stable couple that started in the office, and one couple that was secretly married for several years (and, as far as I know, still is).

    What is it about office romances that makes them less stable than others that you can be certain they’ll fold? Especially when it’s not against company policy?

    Comment by Thud — 02/10/2021 @ 10:37:20 AM

  2. Oh, I’m not tagging office romances as being less stable, necessarily. It’s just my blanket pessimism, applied here for comic effect.

    That said, I guess I still subscribe to the overexposure theory: Seeing each other all day long at work, then all night long afterward, seems like too much. Plus throw in work-related stuff to talk/fight about, and for me, there’s not enough separation. In that sense, I could see such relationships having less of a chance.

    But I know it’s not one-size-fits-all. Plenty of people have found their matches a few desks over. But what’s the deal with the “secret” marriage you cited?

    Comment by CT — 02/10/2021 @ 10:45:37 AM

  3. Ah! Comic exaggeration. I think that works better when you can wag your eyebrows. And I agree it’s not a great idea.

    The secret marriage was secret because it very much was against policy, and both people had niche jobs. Either or both of them could have been fired for dating, much less being married — a rule I thought was illegal, actually. If it’s not, it should be.

    Comment by Thud — 02/10/2021 @ 11:10:36 AM

  4. Er. By “I agree it’s not a great idea,” I mean workplace romances, not comic exaggeration.

    Comment by Thud — 02/10/2021 @ 11:11:21 AM

  5. It complicates things somewhat when you’re a teacher.


    Comment by tim in tampa — 02/10/2021 @ 01:52:04 PM

  6. Don’t stand so close to me, man. We don’t want another Debra Lafave goin’ on.

    Comment by CT — 02/10/2021 @ 03:05:30 PM

  7. […] Anyway, I got a kick out of Costa’s recommendation for Help Wanted ads: Maybe help-wanted ads should tout the dateworthiness of the staff. “Equal Opportunity Employer, open work atmosphere, flextime, and at half the chicks in Marketing are single.” […]

    Pingback by Hit Coffee » Romantic Briefs — 02/21/2006 @ 12:56:01 AM


    We’ve already noted that office romances are increasingly en vogue. But if you don’t want to commit to that, you can always opt for the emotional surrogate that is the “office spouse”.
    Several factors help such friendships thr…

    Trackback by Population Statistic — 03/27/2006 @ 11:56:49 PM

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