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Two-fifths of UK workers admit to workplace romance ahead of Valentine’s Day

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The survey was conducted by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM), which discovered 41 per cent of office workers have experienced romance in the workplace.

It comes at a time where dating apps and online dating is becoming increasingly popular – Happn, for example, raised £5m in December to grow its mobile app service, which connects those looking for love to nearby users.

Some 37 per cent of the romances saw the lovers become a couple and 27 per cent of relationships became serious enough that they developed into marriages and civil partnerships, according to the results.

Charles Elvin, CEO of the ILM, said: “Our survey shows that workplace romances are inevitable and not as destructive on careers as people may fear. Employers may want to think twice before vetoing love at work, or they risk forcing staff to hide their relationships, creating a culture of secrecy and deceit.”

Despite the seemingly commonplace habit, 21 per cent said their romance would be frowned upon by colleagues and ten per cent said the office romance had a negative impact on their working life, which is perhaps why 30 per cent chose to keep their love life it a secret.

However, the study said that 64 per cent of managers don’t have an issue with workplace relationships if they’re kept professional – roughly translated, no nookie in the stationery cupboard.

“The key is how employers handle workplace relationships; if organisations and their managers set clear guidance or policies with boundaries, then certain situations can be prevented. It will also help if policies are communicated down from various members – as sometimes the boss is the last to know,” Elvin continued.

Read more on the impact of Valentine’s Day on business:

The study found that 36 per cent of people started the relationship in the office itself and a third started at social events outside of work. Meanwhile, 70 per cent of relationships were with colleagues on the same level, but 12 per cent were with junior staff members and nine per cent admitted to flings with their boss.

One survey respondent from West Yorkshire, said: “The workplace is definitely a good place to meet someone – after all, you spend most of your time there. I met someone from another department at a Christmas party some years ago and we are due to marry in March. You can’t help where you meet the right person.”

There could potentially be a lot more romance on the way as Valentine’s Day approaches, as two-thirds of British workers said they would consider a workplace relationship.


Image via Shutterstock.

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