Government employees dating contractors
But given the potential fallout from workplace relationships, companies retreat on this issue at their own risk, suggest a number of experts.“There is a feeling of resignation among HR people.
In a 2005 study conducted by the society and the ‘s Career Journal.com, 40% of employees surveyed said they had had an office romance at some point in their careers — a finding replicated by three other recent surveys conducted by private companies.If everything you knew about office life came from NBC’s serial mockumentary “The Office,” you would be forgiven for thinking romance is the main spice of workplace life.Pam the secretary and Jim the salesman send flirtatious glances across the fictional offices of paper company Dunder Mifflin; Michael, the regional manager, escapes with his boss, Jan, for a forbidden fling in Jamaica, and straight-laced Dwight and Angela relish the cloak-and-dagger thrill of concealing their mutual passion.But the satire here seems not far from reality — especially when Toby, the long-faced HR representative from corporate, makes his lackluster exhortation that employees must report their romantic relationships to him. ” asks Phyllis, a middle-aged member of the sales team, to the surprise of her co-workers.“The Office” confirms with satire what recent studies have demonstrated with numbers: Romances shape office life, and human resource departments don’t have much to say about it.And in companies with a gay-friendly atmosphere, open same-sex dating should come as no surprise.
“Employees have become more confident about pursuing office romance and less careful to some degree about concealing it,” says Mark Oldman, co-founder and director of
That perception is shared by 76% of employees surveyed in a 2004 joint Lawyers.com/ magazine survey, who said workplace relationships were more common than they were 10 years earlier.
One of those studies, by career website Vault.com, also reported that 19% of employees admitted to having office “trysts,” with venues ranging from “the boss’s office” to “in my car driving to meet a customer.” While that last finding might raise some eyebrows — and prompt you to knock next time you open the supply closet — the overarching frequency of office romance should not come as a surprise, says Keary. People spend an enormous amount of time in the office, and if romance is going to happen, it will happen there,” she says.
Demographic trends feed the phenomenon, note Keary and others.
With the average age of marriage increasing, young employees are more likely to be single.
As women continue to join the workforce and rise through the ranks, they are more likely than ever to be working shoulder to shoulder with men.