HR & Management

Want to supercharge your firm's productivity? Encourage office romances

3 min read

18 June 2015

Former deputy editor

It's come to light that two-thirds of British workers who are employed at the same place as their partners believe operating in such a close proximity improves their work output.

Nobel scientist Tim Hunt was blasted over claims that working alongside women in the lab was a distraction because of emotions like love on both sides, while adding “when you criticise them, they cry.”

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has also come under fire for seemingly supporting the comments.

However, findings from VoucherCodesPro.co.uk, which used an even gender divide for the survey of the UK’s adult workers, found that’s quite the opposite when it comes to an office environment.

Some 23 per cent of respondents said they were already in a relationship at the time they were employed at the same company as their partner, while the remaining 77 per cent said they met their other half at work.

According to the report, 67 per cent claimed working alongside their partner improves work output and productivity, and 36 per cent of that number said it’s a result of them being competitive about their performance. It’s unclear whether said performance competition was solely linked to the office.

Read more on strange workplace activities:

Elsewhere, a quarter said they work well with their partner, 22 per cent confessed a desire to impress them and 18 per cent said they spent less time calling or texting because their nearest and dearest was nearby.

Particularly interesting, 12 per cent – who don’t seem entirely sold on the concept – said they feel under more pressure to work hard since working with a loved one.

“These results are the complete opposite of what we expected. You would think that working with your partner would bring all kinds of distractions, but it seems we actually spur our partners on with a bit of healthy competition,” said Nick Swan, CEO and founder of VoucherCodesPro.co.uk.

“I would, however, advise that anyone in a similar situation in the future remains fairly tight-lipped about their personal life, as office gossip doesn’t take too long to spread, and chances are your bosses might not be as thrilled about your new relationship status as you both are.”

He’s right. Two-thirds admitted that senior staff members knew about the relationship, but 63 per cent were unhappy about the situation, leaving just 15 per cent fine with it.

The productivity may not last forever though – 61 per cent said they would probably leave their job if a break-up happened and 22 per cent, apparently dedicated to the firm, would expect their partner to depart.

Maybe it would come down to whoever’s the most senior casting the deciding vote.

Image: Shutterstock