More than one-third of workers have had an office romance, survey finds

WASHINGTON — Office romances come with a risk, of course: Spending eight hours a day with someone with whom it didn’t work out can get extremely awkward. But a recent survey shows that it still happens — and that it can go smoothly.

A recent Valentine’s Day-related survey by CareerBuilder shows that 37 percent of workers say they’ve dated someone they work with, and of those romances, one-third — 33 percent — resulted in marriage.

On the other hand, 5 percent of the workers surveyed who had an office romance say they’ve left a job because it went wrong. Twenty-three percent of those who had an office romance did so with a superior — lightly more women than men. And 17 percent of office romances involved at least one person who was married at the time, CareerBuilder says.

The ways co-workers get together aren’t very surprising: The survey found that the most popular way was during a late night at work (12 percent), followed by post-work happy hour and chance meetings (10 percent each) and lunches (9 percent)

Of the workers who had an office romance, one-third said they had to keep it a secret, which doesn’t always work.

The survey finds that 27 percent of those in office romances ran into co-workers while they were out and about with their secret significant other. Of those, 17 percent copped to it when caught, while 10 percent kept up the charade.

Which may or may not work: Sixty-five percent of the workers surveyed said they know the relationship status of everyone they work with. There is, of course, no way of knowing for sure whether they’re right.

The poll surveyed 3,252 full-time, private-sector workers across industries and company sizes.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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