• 45% of survey participants had dated a co-worker at some point in their professional life
• 26% of employers state that they would prefer their staff not to date each other
• 31% of first kisses between colleagues take place at the office Christmas party
• 20% of office flings have involved a married partner
Upcoming festivities bring flirting and flings to the workplace, as a new study by Reboot Digital has revealed that you are more than twice as likely to embark on an office fling during the winter months. However, in the spirit of October, Reboot Digital has collected 6 horror stories about a romance that has gone wrong in the workplace.
Reboot Digital spoke to 2,017 professionals about love from 9 to 5, unveiling some saucy stats.
For example, Reboot Digital found that 45% of survey participants had dated a co-worker at some point in their professional life, with 12% admitting that they had dated their boss.
However, according to the research, most bosses do not approve of workplace wooing, as 26% of employers state that they would prefer their staff not to date each other.
The study found that as soon as the temperature cools down outside, things hot-up in the office. A whopping 66% of office workers stated that their romance began during the winter months. In fact, a total of 31% of first kisses between colleagues take place at the office Christmas party, perhaps due to a lethal mix of mulled wine and mistletoe.
Due to company policy on office romance, or just a general want to adhere to workplace etiquette, 38% of employees have kept their dating on the down-low. The taboo of workplace relationships goes even further, with 20% of office flings involving a married partner.
This perhaps explains why there are not always happy endings for our enamoured employees, with 6% confessing that they had lost their job due to a liaison. A further 9% had been driven to leave their job due to irreconcilable relations with co-workers.
Taking your work home with you? Employees tell us their worst office romance stories:
Catrina A, 26, Recruitment Officer.
“I started dating a guy from our finance department. It was going well for a few months, until I started to see another side to him. He became possessive and a general ‘glass is half empty’ kind of guy. When I finally broke it off I thought my only saving grace would be that we worked in different departments, and wouldn’t have to see each other that much at work. My ex took every opportunity to call me up; from asking how to use the new coffee machine, to demanding the email addresses of other colleagues. Things got worse when it came to our work’s Christmas do. He saw me talking to a male colleague and started telling everyone how I left him because he ‘didn’t make enough money’. Luckily for him I was about as interested in my job as I was in salvaging our relationship – I soon found somewhere new”
Rob, 34, HR Executive
“I worked as an estate agent for a few years, and in that time, I started covertly dating a co-worker. When the sexual tension got too much in the office we would arrange to meet in a vendor’s house, when we knew they would be out, and we would do the deed. Another colleague caught wind of what we were doing and, to scupper my chance at a promotion, told our superior about it all. Needless to say, that ended my foray into real estate.”
Dillon S, 25, Project Co-ordinator
“My employer was really strict about dating colleagues and said it interfered too much with our work. So, when I started dating a guy a few desks away we decided to not tell a soul. We’d often send naughty messages back and forth over email with inconspicuous subject headings, until one day I received a team-wide message from my manager asking someone to “make hard copies” of a report for our next meeting. Instead of forwarding this to my secret lover with a cheeky response, I pressed “reply to all”- telling my whole team that I could make something else hard if they wanted. I still cringe about it to this day!”
Sara M, 32, Marketing Executive.
“I had not long started my job as a project co-ordinator, when I really started hitting it off with a female co-worker. We were dating casually and, as these things do, word spread around the office. Little did I know that she had also dated my desk neighbour…for 2 years! Things got a little awkward after that.”
Ceris M, 30, Car sales assistant.
“I was working in a very male-dominated field. I also had to work late quite often. This dangerous routine led me to kiss a married colleague one evening when everyone had gone home. Not wanting to be branded as a homewrecker, I didn’t pursue the relationship. My colleague on the other hand had other ideas, and he left his wife after realising the marriage wasn’t what he wanted. We didn’t end up dating, and he eventually got back together with his wife, but would constantly leave me notes and write messages detailing his undying love for me. I had to leave the company in the end.”
Tim W, 41, Communications Manager.
“My wife wanted to get her career back on track after having our first child. There was a perfect role for her in my office, and I pulled a few strings so that she would get it. Spending so much time together eventually took its toll, she couldn’t handle working under me, and we both had very different ideas about how our jobs should be done. We ended up getting a divorce…But we still work together now!”