Fast Company

How to Make Love in the Office II

Last year, just in time for the holiday office party season, I wrote a "One Thing Done Right" column about office romance -- how more and more people are, ahem, embracing their coworkers, and why many employers are deciding that intra-office dating is just fine with them.

It's a subject that's ripe for revisiting, with Valentine's Day just past, and Yahoo! Hot Jobs having just released the results of a fun new "Love in the Workplace" poll:


  • 74% have dated a coworker
  • 9% have not, but would if they had the opportunity!
  • 57% wouldn't be willing to work for their significant other
  • 75% would hide the relationship if dating a coworker

All this polling makes me curious about the views of FC readers: Have you ever dated a coworker? Was it fabulous, or did it flame-out? Is love on the job a good way to spice up the workday, or terrible for morale? Give us the low-down on your views about making love at the office...

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10 Comments

  • John Stones

    Lovers all over the world make use of myriad signs and love symbols to express true love and overflowing affection for their sweetheart on the very special occasion of Valentine’s Day
    Valentyne

  • Prashant

    Office Romances are good till the time they turn bad (sexual harassment, lawsuits etc), i totally agree with gautam and Lilia, per se organizations should not encourage romances within office environment...outside office things like orientation trips are just fine...

  • LFox

    Also, to Paulo, keeping the work problems and communication going outside of work seems like a disadvantage - how do you ever get away from work? Dating someone that you DON'T work with means that you can have another life separate from work and its problems.

  • LFox

    I think that a romance can be great fun while all is going well; however, if the relationship fails (or you're just having a spat) it can be pretty miserable if you still have to work together. If I were dating a coworker, I think I would try to keep it very quiet just to keep a lid on the gossip and speculation.

  • Kelleen Stine-Cheyne

    I had office romances when I was single and I met my husband at work so I'd be hypocritical to say office romances are a bad thing. When they work well, everyone can benefit. However, I have also been supervised by a man whose wife was my peer and it was very uncomfortable (we never knew if something we said to one would be taken out of context and communicated with the other which would then lead to an awful backlash). This situation really put up barriers when it came to trust. I have also worked in situations where a single woman and a married man were "best friends", this caused a great deal of gossip and mistrust within the work environment.

    I guess the bottom line is that we need to think about the effect our relationships have on ourselves as well as how they effect the entire work environment.

  • mindcahce

    I have been in business with good friends and have lost a couple over stupid little issues. How would you feel taking orders from your recent ex whatever, who you (and everyone in the office) knows is now "doing" the new guy? It's just not a place most of us want to go and when you realy examine the bad side of the possibilities it can get pretty scary. In my head, sure I'd like to date some of the people that I work with, and I think that out side of the work place it would work out fine. But there has to be sseperation between "chruch and state" and not many people have the ability to pull this off well. Especially over a long period of time. Of course if you don't belive in the sanctity of marriage and LONG term relationships then it may be easier. That's not me.

  • Gautam

    Hi there

    Agree with Lilia there. However, best friends if they break up do not turn around and accuse the other about sexual harassment.

    As biologists tell us, love is being in a heightened sense of consciousness, and once that wears off, an organization opens itself up to lawsuits :-(

    My take on this question would be that business should not encourage office romances...they could burn their fingers !

    Gautam

  • Lilia Efimova

    Just an association - I thought about employee engagement questions (http://gmj.gallup.com/content/... one of which is saying: "Do you have a best friend at work?" Having a best friend at work is supposed to have a positive influence of employee productivity, so I guees it should be something similar with (successful :) romance...

  • Dharmendra Misra

    Hi, My first love is my computer, please no girl in DMs zone. I mean for me office is office, Ilove to be there and be friendly with everyone but I feel that every girl has one boy out who is waiting for her. So for that one I should not be a problem. For me friend is friend and friendship is beyond Dating or any relationship. I am friend of all without.............

  • Paulo Napolitano

    In this post modern world we are spending more time in our work. Our jobs are responsible for the way we behave and sometimes we are misunderstood by our friends and family if they are not sharing the same environment.
    I think that if we date a coworker on these days we are reducing the breakdowns in a relationship because these two person share the same environment. For the enterprise is also a good situation because these people will continue to share the work problems and keep communicaton going outside the enterprise.