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Love and Career Don't Mix, Workers Say

Love and Career Don't Mix, Workers Say
A majority of workers think that office romances are a bad idea. / Credit: Heart on keyboard image via Shutterstock

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.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad 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. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.