Office Romances

Many business offices are like singles bars. Multiple surveys taken over the years show office romances are on the rise because of more women in the workplace combined with high divorce rates. More than forty percent of workers surveyed say they’ve dated a coworker, according to a report in the Christian Science Monitor.

In fact, offices have become the number one place for people who are married to meet and carry on affairs.

“You should never permit someone to have a relationship with a worker they supervise or have input over their raises and promotions,” says Chicago-based labor lawyer David Roitter quoted in a printed report. Yet falling in love at the office is easy to do. Your coworkers are also your social contacts. That’s why it sometimes makes sense to date people where you work.

Because companies are concerned about sexual harassment lawsuits, some require office lovers on the executive level to sign consensual relationship agreements. Such love contracts protect companies in case the relationship turns sour.

I’m sure you can think of office romances that have turned into happy marriages. Perhaps yours is one of them. But when you’re involved with someone at the office, it could also be detrimental to your career for the following reasons:

  • Because office romances are rarely kept secret, co-workers will gossip about you.
  • When you date the boss, colleagues will resent you because of preferential treatment surrounding work assignments and promotions.
  • When manager’s date subordinates, colleagues get jealous so it’s hard to avoid the perception that the manager is playing favorites.
  • No matter how much you’ve achieved at work, colleagues will conjecture as to the real reason for your success and promotions.
  • When the manager is a man, it’s usually the woman who suffers by being transferred to another department or site.
  • When couples break up, it’s tough having to still work together.

Experts in infidelity advise you to avoid the office naughty altogether. Easy for them to say! When two people are attracted towards one another, Cupid’s chokehold is hard to resist.

So if you’re currently involved in an office romance or are tempted to start one, what do you do? Answers to that question in part two of this report. Look for it early next week right here on Your Career Service.

In the meantime, learn more about how to handle office romances in the chapter titled, “Now that you’ve landed, what do you do for an encore, in my book Your One-Minute Job Finding Coach.

Copyright ©2016 by Ransom (Randy) Place


About the Author

RANDY PLACE IS A JOB-FINDING and executive coach, writer on career topics, broadcaster, and host of For twenty-three years, he helped thousands of employees who had been let go from JPMorgan Chase find jobs. And he coached executives at CBS Television, Pitney Bowes, and major outplacement firms in New York on job-finding techniques, communications skills, and selling strategies. An accomplished seminar leader and speaker, Randy has designed and presented workshops on interviewing, telephoning techniques, job-search writing, and sales training nationwide. Randy's groundbreaking nationally syndicated radio series, Your Career Service, has been heard on over two hundred radio stations across the United States. And his articles on career topics have appeared in the Wall Street Journal's National Business Employment Weekly. A former broadcast journalist in New York, he has also been a commercial spokesperson for an array of national and regional advertisers. In addition, Randy was a sales executive at NBC Radio and the New York City sales manager for syndication at Wolper Productions. He holds a Bachelor's in Sociology and Broadcasting from Syracuse University, and a Master's in Journalism from New York University.