Love is in the air... at work
Workopolis Valentine's Day poll: One-quarter of Canadians open to an office romance; 15 per cent have met their partner at work
Toronto , February 13, 2007 – Working late this Valentine’s Day? Not a problem if you’re part of the 26 per cent of Canadians in favour of an office romance. According to Workopolis’ Valentine’s Day survey, love is in the air at work as 15 per cent said they met their current partner at work.
“Many Canadians are putting in longer days than ever before, working on weekends and travelling for work,” said Patrick Sullivan, President of Workopolis. “With little time or opportunity left for dating, it’s not surprising that an office romance may blossom between colleagues. If you’re working closely together and you share common non-work interests, cupid just may strike at your place of work.”
You might want to hold off on that blind date – the light of your life may be just a few cubicles away. Almost 20 per cent (18%) of working Canadians have been in a relationship with a colleague:
- Quebecers are the most likely to rendezvous with a coworker, with one-quarter (23%) having dated a colleague;
- Men at work (22%) are more likely to be in a closed door meeting than women (14%).
And when asked where they met their current partners:
- Fifteen per cent of working Canadians said they found love at work, coming in third after friends (22%) and at school (20%);
- Almost one in five of Ontarians (18%) said their romance began at work, versus only 10 per cent of those in Manitoba/Saskatchewan.
- Twenty per cent of those aged 25-34 felt the spark at work.
Who’s the most flirtatious at work?
According to the survey, friendly British Columbians are most in favour of work love-affairs with more than one-third (38%) admitting they’re not afraid to flirt with a colleague. Atlantic Canadians are the most reserved with only 22 per cent claiming they’d mix their personal and work lives.
- Not surprisingly, younger workers (those aged 18-24) support the boardroom tango – with almost 60 per cent (59%) saying they would consider a fling;
- The most conservative group is those aged 35-44 – only one-quarter responding they would mingle with a colleague;
- Finally, men (31%) admit they’d be more playful than women (23%) if the right opportunity came along.
Are you breaking the rules?
The Workopolis Valentine’s Day survey reveals that one-quarter (22%) of employees said their place of employment has an official policy against office romances.
- Employers in Alberta are most opposed to the idea, with 36 per cent of employees responding that a relationship with a colleague is forbidden;
- British Columbian employers are far more accepting of the notion that love can strike anytime, with more than half (55%) of employees saying there should be no rules about love in the workplace.
One-third (35%) of Canadian employees oppose the romance rules put in place by their workplaces.
- Atlantic Canadians are most troubled by the policy with almost half (46%) saying the rule is bogus;
- Only one-quarter (28%) of British Columbians object;
- Few (8%) of those ages 18-24 support the no love at work law.
Shhh…Let’s keep our love a secret
Almost half (45%) of those involved in an office romance tried to keep the relationship a secret from their colleagues, or were discreet about it.
- Most secretive were office romancers in British Columbia with more than half (52%) whispering behind closed doors;
- Younger professionals (18-24) were confident in their workplace relationships with more than 80 per cent (81%) flaunting their new found love.
“Even if your employer supports a relationship between colleagues, public displays of affection don’t belong in the work environment and in fact, make everyone involved feel uncomfortable,” added Sullivan. “Keep your mind focused on work during the day - even on Valentine’s Day.”
Office romance 101
When it comes to office romances, remember a few simple guidelines to ensure your work life is just as strong as your love life:
- Familiarize yourself with office policies – Many employers have set guidelines about workplace romances. Before you become involved with a colleague, be aware of the official and nonofficial “rules”.
- Be honest – If you are in a relationship with a coworker, be upfront and honest with your colleagues and your managers.
- Keep it lateral – Office romances can be complicated enough. If you are considering a workplace relationship, you’re better off to date someone at your level and not your boss or manager.
- Minimize the PDAs! – Don’t let your relationship distract you from your day to day responsibilities at work. Keep the public displays of affection to a minimum when you’re in the workplace environment, even if your relationship is out in the open.
- Look for love outside your day to day office group – that way if there is a break up, it won’t interfere with your work.