Most employees OK with office romance

A recent survey reveals that a majority is fine with workplace relationships and keeping HR out of it. Messing around with the boss, however, crosses the line.

By Jason Notte May 28, 2013 5:33PM
Image: Man feeding woman © Jack Hollingsworth/Brand X/Getty ImagesAfter the long holiday weekend, workers across the country may need a little reminder of what the workplace is like these days. Here it is: Your co-workers are hooking up all over the place and don't really care what you think about it.

That's not to say you're not seeing your fair share of water-cooler-inspired action, but it's also an indication that your place of business isn't the chaste little pilgrim colony your human resources rep wishes it was.

Business Insider, in response to some pearl clutching over a recent column about sex in the workplace inspired by Liz Ryan's thoughts on the topic in Businessweek, surveyed nearly 2,500 readers to get their take. As long as the relationship in question isn't between a manager and a subordinate (nearly 65% of all respondents considered that the step too far), U.S. workers advise their colleagues to have at it.

Nearly 85% of those surveyed thought colleagues at the same company should be allowed to have sex, while 90% thought that was especially true of employees who didn't work with each other directly. As for human resources' role in their relationship, more than 92% don't want to fill out forms to have some fun and say it's none of that department's business what goes on beyond the workplace.

Though 37% of employees think mixing business an pleasure is a bad idea, 52% think it can work out just fine if it's handled correctly. Another 11% see workplace hookups as the best way to get to know attractive people.

Even if they haven't had sex with a colleague, the survey's respondents sure have been thinking about it. A full 90% have been sexually attracted to a colleague, while 84.5% have dreamed about having sex with someone they work with. Only 64% have followed through and hit on a co-worker, with 52% holding off because they still had to work with that person the next day.

The 54% of all workers who've had sex with their colleagues -- and 55% of those who've had sex with multiple co-workers -- are far less inhibited about the whole situation. Not only do 71% say their intra-office relations didn't affect their work, but 84% say it had no affect whatsoever on their future with the company.

Not only that, but 49% felt so confident in their decision that they had no qualms having sex with said colleague right there in the office. It's probably not the office productivity management has in mind, but it's also the strongest argument HR has for keeping your love life documented. Want to keep that private? Keep it out of the copy room.

Tags: Dramajobs
May 28, 2013 9:15PM
Most employees may be ok with it but most employers are not.  Office romance is risky behavior in today's workplace.  Proceed with caution.
May 30, 2013 8:35AM
I married a I don't see a real problem with it.  I fully believe any "relationship" or relationship issues should be kept out of the office, though, and if you can't do that you're too immature to have a coworker you're romatically involved with.  Any interactions you have at work should be professional, as if you are only the rest for home.
May 29, 2013 10:35PM
People might be ok with it but in actually it's a HUGE mistake.
May 29, 2013 10:28PM
A manager who has a subordinate supervisor who has a relationship with his/her subordinate should consider it sexual harassment unless both have talked to the supervisors' manager and "cleared the tracks".  The supervisor should be fired.  If the relationship is approved, the supervisor should never be able to recommend his subordinate for a new job/promotion because it is a conflict of interest.
May 30, 2013 10:59AM
It worked out ok for me I have been married 34 years.I still say it is a bad idea in todays world for numerous reasons. The biggest argument I have is if it does not work out it could get ugly. If the couple have children and it does not work out more problems. It is a different world now 1977 was a lifetime ago and society has made life stressful, expectation are different today. My wife and I have had a good life. I say be cautious jobs are hard to replace. If you chose a workplace romance be sure it may affect your entire life and good luck.
May 30, 2013 4:36PM

Can't lead them, discipline them, or fire them if you cross the line with them. Never get into a situation that prohibits you from being able to do your job. Friendship is ok. Having sex isn't. Can't mix sex and work. It's like trying to mix water and gas.

May 31, 2013 4:01PM
My husband and I have been together for 10yrs and he was my employee when we met.  I managed a restaurant and he was one of my bartenders.  He quit so we could date.  Many of our friends also met their spouses the same way.  Work was work and we kept it separate from what we did in our off hours. 
May 28, 2013 7:59PM
Half the people had no problem with sex at work. What are we, Europe now? Having Relationships with folks at work will only bring problems down the line. Sure, it's far easier to meet folks where you work but it's bad to create a whore house at work. I wonder the ages of the folks saying okay to do it, right on the Job. And people wonder why this country is going to Hell in a hay Basket.

Sometimes being a Adult is not doing it. We are more concern with keeping up with the Jones and Sex Sex SEX as opposed to making sure we demand a living Wage or keep our Government from passing the wrong laws. Guess you really do Reap what you Sow.

May 29, 2013 11:06AM

A lot of women would have nothing to talk about if it wasn`t for all the sex in the back

room at work.

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