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Survey: One-Third of Us Talk about Our Love Lives at Work, and HR Employees are a Top Culprit


Employee expert discusses new study which says the human resources department is a hotbed for office dating

With Valentine’s Day approaching, love is in the air, even in the workplace…especially for those in the HR industry. The new “Workplace Romance in America”  survey has found that 42% of people who work in human resources say that they have dated a coworker, compared to just 25% of the rest of surveyed employees.

“These shocking results show that HR employees are more likely to have an office romance than employees in other positions throughout the company,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA, an employment solutions firm with locations across the country.

The new survey also found that one-third of employees say that they discuss their dating lives in the office.

“Whether they are dating a coworker or someone outside the office, the survey results show that many of us like to talk about love lives at work,” says Wilson. “While you don’t want to police your employees’ speech, it’s easy to see how this can become problematic if the discussion becomes lewd or overly-familiar.” 

This is especially true as it relates to inter-office dating, says Wilson.

“The reality is that 1 in 3 Americans admits to dating a coworker,” the human resources expert explains. “Developing feelings for your coworkers is much more common than employers may like to admit, but in the #MeToo era, it’s doubly important for companies to make sure that they are doing everything they can to keep their workplaces safe.”

Wilson says the problems worsen when offices don’t have clear-cut dating policies and fraternization regulations.

“It’s important to make sure every employee knows how dating in the workplace must work, including when they need to disclose their relationship to superiors,” says Wilson. “It may feel like an invasion of privacy, but this is how companies are able to protect their own interests and ensure that there is no favoritism or inappropriate conduct in the office.”

Wilson goes on to explain that in most workplaces, it is a good idea for there to be a written policy that supervisors are not able to have romantic relationships with people who are directly under them, in order to ensure that no one is treated unfairly.

“This survey should hopefully provide a wakeup call to companies which have not updated their employee handbooks in a while, or to companies who do not have any policies about dating,” says Wilson. “In particular, industries which are often rife with romantic relationships such as the human resources industry and hospitality industry should make sure that they aren’t being lax or turning a blind eye to possible coworker liaisons.”

The employment trends expert concludes by saying, “While every employee has the right to privacy, that right does not supersede the company’s legal responsibility to make sure that their workplace is fair, equitable, and safe.”

Footnotes: Footnotes: Bridget Sharkey