The majority of employees prefer to keep their work and love lives separate, new research shows.
A study by the online job site Monster.com revealed that regardless of whether they think it would hurt their career, 54 percent of the employees surveyed across seven countries would never date a co-worker. Specifically, 39 percent believe that office romances can damage an employee's career — causing them to steer clear of striking up a relationship with a colleague — while 15 percent wouldn't embark on a workplace romance despite thinking there would be no lasting job-related consequences.
U.S. employees are more concerned than their international counterparts about the possibility that an office romance could hurt their career. The research discovered that while 52 percent of American workers wouldn't date a co-worker because of potential damage to their job status, just 24 percent of Europeans felt the same. [10 Happiest (and Unhappiest) Cities for Workers]
Mary Ellen Slayter, a career advice expert for Monster, said the implications of dating a co-worker are best examined on a case-by-case basis.
"Thoroughly understanding a company's policies and culture is imperative," Slayter said. "If you're interested in pursuing a colleague, treading carefully is always the smart approach."
Slayter said a key factor to consider is whether one of the people in the potential relationship holds a higher-level position than the other.
"Dating between employees at the same company — when either one works for the other or is in a more senior position — can be very controversial, and many companies prohibit it," she said.
The study was based on surveys of 5,100 workers in the United States, Canada, France, Germany, India, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom who visit Monster.com.
Originally published on Business News Daily.