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Build Your Career Office Life

Office Romances Lead to Marriages and New Jobs

Office Romances Lead to Marriages and New Jobs
Credit: Stokkete/Shutterstock

The idea of co-workers mixing business with pleasure isn't as taboo as it once was. A study from CareerBuilder revealed that 37 percent of employees have dated a colleague at one point or another in their career.

And while most of those relationships eventually come to an end, some result in a walk down the aisle. The research found that 33 percent of office romances ended in marriage, up from 30 percent a year ago.

On the flip side, 5 percent of workers who have been romantically involved with a co-worker ended up not only with a broken heart, but also a new job, because they left their employer after the relationship went south.

Not all office dalliances are between peers. Nearly one-quarter of those surveyed have dated someone in a higher position. Specifically, 26 percent of women have dated a superior, with 20 percent of men doing the same.

Dating a boss isn't the only romantic risk some employees take. The research revealed that 17 percent of office romances involved at least one person who was married at the time. [Flirting with Trouble: Office Romances Can Prove Costly ]

Regardless of whether it is a peer or superior, not everyone in an office romance feels comfortable going public with their relationship. However, keeping a workplace relationship secret is easier said than done. Nearly 30 percent of those surveyed who were in an office romance have run into other colleagues while out with their sweethearts. When caught red-handed, 37 percent pretended they weren't dating, while 63 percent admitted to the relationship, the study found.

Many office trysts bloom when employees are working after hours. The study found that 12 percent of workplace romances began after a late night on the job. Additionally, 10 percent started after a happy-hour, 10 percent with a chance meeting outside of work and 9 percent after a lunch outing.

Some employees fell for a co-worker immediately, the study found. Nearly 10 percent of those surveyed who have had an office romance said it was love at first sight.

Not all workplace relationships involve romantic sparks, however. The research discovered that 8 percent of employees play it safe by having a platonic office "husband" or "wife."

The study was based on surveys of 3,252 full-time, private-sector workers across a range of industries and company sizes.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.