On this Valentine’s Day, it appears that this winter’s crippling snow storms and subfreezing temperatures haven’t chilled our collective appetite for office romance.
According to Vault.com’s 2014 Office Romance Survey of 1,864 employees representing various industries across the United States, 56 percent of business professionals surveyed say they have participated in some type of workplace relationship, but the types of behavior associated with these unique company connections differ significantly between the sexes. For example, data from the survey indicates that women are much more likely to have dated a supervisor at work, with men more likely to have dated a subordinate.
“In recent years, we’ve seen the concept of workplace romances gradually becoming more acceptable among survey respondents, so that data didn’t come as a surprise,” said Tara McCaffrey, VP of Marketing at Vault.com. “This year, we decided to take a deeper look at these relationships than we have in previous surveys to examine the mindset of those who participate in these types of behaviors. The results are particularly interesting when broken down between men and women.”
According to results, men and women are equally likely to engage in an office romance – 55% of men surveyed said they have participated in some type of workplace relationship while 56% of women surveyed have done the same. The numbers differ when examining the types of relationships men and women had with colleagues:
· 19% of men reported instances of “random hookups” with colleagues, compared to 12% of women.
· 17% of women report that office romances led to “long-term relationships”, compared to just 11% of men.
· 20% of women have dated a supervisor while only 9% of men have dated their boss.
· 25% of men have dated a subordinate while only 10% of women have dated their subordinate.
When it comes to love by industry, though, the consulting industry is not the best place for an office hookup, according to the survey. While 52% of those identifying themselves as consultants said they had participated in an office romance, their numbers are actually higher in insurance (72%), education (70%), finance and banking (60%), government (60%), manufacturing (59%), tech (56%) and energy (55%). The industries with the fewest office romances are law and accounting, both at 49%.
Of course, office romances are not for everyone. Of those surveyed, 39% said they have avoided a potential romance that they would have otherwise pursued, specifically to avoid the pitfalls of dating a co-worker.
“Even when I’ve been interested in somebody single at my workplace, I’ve had to just avoid at all costs to make sure any chance it could harm our careers or reputations was minimized,” said one respondent.