Business and pleasure? 1 in 4 Brits flirt with co-workers whilst in a relationship


  • One in five women consider flirting with a colleague whilst in a relationship as cheating
  • Two thirds of Brits would break up with their partner for sleeping with a colleague
  • 87% of men say flirting with a colleague behind their partners back is completely fine!

Is it acceptable to engage in a bit of harmless flirting while at work? Well, according to new research by First4Lawyers, a quarter of British adults see nothing wrong in it, even if you have a partner at home!

The divorce lawyers and family law specialists polled 2,000 Brits on what they class as cheating, and what behaviour they deem acceptable from their other half.


The study discovered that just over 1 in 10 (16%) class flirting with a colleague as being unfaithful.


However, the research indicates a difference in views on acceptable behaviour when considering gender as one in five women consider flirting with a co-worker as cheating, compared to just 13% of men.

The research also discovered that 18-24-year-olds have higher expectations of their partners; (28%) considering flirting with a colleague as being unfaithful, over three times that of aged over 55 (12%).


Those who think flirting with their colleagues is harmless are playing with fire, as one in ten Brits would break up with their partner for flirting with a co-worker. Younger Brits (aged 18 – 24-years -old) are more likely to break up with their partner for flirting with a colleague (19%) than those over 55 (8%).


While Brits may tolerate their partner flirting with a co-worker, they are unforgiving when it comes to sexual infidelity with two thirds (66%) of Brits admitting they would break up with their partner for sleeping with a colleague.

Although those aged 18 – 24 years old are quick to break up with a partner for flirting with a colleague, Interestingly, over 55s (70%) are more likely to leave their partner for sexual infidelity with a colleague than younger Brits (60%).


Andrew Cullwick, spokesperson at First4lawyers comments:


 “It is no surprise that spending 40 hours a week in close proximity with our colleagues often leads to office relationships.  However, office romances are often doomed from the start – especially when a married party is involved – leading to conflict outside and within the workplace. 


“HR departments need to ensure that the company has some control over workplace romances, ideally through policies and guidelines which determine the behaviours deemed as acceptable and which would be considered misconduct such as; physical contact, use of language and personal use of company communications systems. These policies will ensure an equal opportunities workplace, where all employees are treated fairly and by merit, rather than favouritism or victimisation as a result of their romantic relationships.”


The study also discovered that sexting (64%), having a tinder account (54%), texting an ex (48%), and flirtatiously liking an attractive person’s picture on social media are all behaviours which Brits deem as being unfaithful.


Noel Biderman, owner and founder of the controversial Ashley Madison ‘dating site’, which helps married men and women engage in affairs was once quoted saying “Having an affair can save a marriage. None of us anywhere are engineered for monogamy. People don’t want to get divorced, they just want to have their cake and eat it too.”


However, the survey of 2,000 Brits reveals that 56% do believe we are engineered for monogamy, and that we should only be intimate with one person and no-one else.

Despite this, 19% of Brits say they have cheated, with 1 in 10 admitting they do not trust their other half.



Author: Editor

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