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Office romances at lowest level in 10 years, but employee-boss relationships up 47%

CareerBuilder’s yearly Valentine’s Day survey produced some startling findings, given the ongoing post-Weinstein era we’re currently in — although “office romance” has dropped to its lowest level in 10 years — 36% of employees ‘fess up to dating someone they work with, down from 41% last year and 40% back in 2008 — employee-boss relationships of the same nature are at 22%, up from 15% the year before.

Harris Poll carried out the research for CareerBuilder, surveying 809 full-time employees who weren’t working for the government or themselves, and were age 18 and older.

Who is romantically involved with whom at work

Even though nearly a third of employees who began dating at their places of employment were in it for the long haul — 31% of them eventually tie the knot — others keep their office love life quiet, with 41% of workers claiming they haven’t told any coworkers.

A staggering 25% of men and 35% of women had office romances with someone who was higher up on the corporate ladder than they were.

But for some employees, dating flings aren’t a one-time thing: 15% of women and 20% of men say they’ve dated a coworker twice or more.

Caution: rough dating waters ahead

But this can prove to be tricky territory — while 6% of employees (3% of men and 9% of women) have ditched their jobs for new ones after an office romances “went sour,” 24% have engaged in an affair where one worker was married.

Overall, men and women reported dating someone they work with at nearly the same rates, with 37% of the former and 35% of the latter saying they have.

Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder, commented on the findings in a statement:

“Office romance is experiencing a dip and whether it’s impacted by the current environment around sexual harassment or by workers not wanting to admit the truth, the fact remains that office romance has been around forever and will continue to be … To avoid negative consequences at work, it’s important to set ground rules within your relationship that help you stay professional in the office and keep your personal life private.”

While CareerBuilder offers guidance on managing a romantic relationship at your job, we’d like to offer more tips on what to do if you’re currently in one of your own, and how to proceed if you find out about an affair at work.

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