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Obsession with networking fuels office romance

Obsession with networking fuels office romance

45% of workers admit to office romance

87% say networking is important to their business

This Valentines’ day, as workers across the country trudge into work, their Valentine might just be waiting for them in the office. Research by global office broker Search Office Space (SOS) released today reveals that almost half of office workers have had a relationship with someone they’ve met at work, with 19% of office workers having met their long term partners in the office.

The research, which surveyed professionals across the country, also found:

Women are more cautious with 58% saying they would avoid an office romance, compared with 51% of men

65% thought dating a co-worker could be a distraction

More than a quarter (26%) thought dating a co-worker could jeopardise job security or possibility of promotions

Dating a boss is only considered a no-go area for one in ten (9%) whilst 13% would be put off an office romance if they worked on projects together.

Still, half the respondents admitted to an office fling – perhaps because networking has become such an important part of office life. According to the SOS survey, 87% of respondents said that networking is important or very important to their business.

The research also shows that workers are not just networking in the office either with 24% of respondents having met a useful business contact in a lift, 36% of women making a new business contact at a wedding and 26% of men making a new contact on holiday.

For those people working in serviced offices which are shared with other companies, networking has reached a whole new level with 25% of respondents claiming to have developed new business from other companies in their buildings. Men tend to be braver than women when networking in shared office space with 40% of men regularly networking and speaking to people from other companies in the building, compared to 30% of women.

Richard Smith, Managing Director of SOS says:

“Office relationships, whilst they may have their clich&eacutes, are almost inevitable given how the way we work has changed so much. We now spend a larger proportion of time with colleagues as we travel more, go to more events, work longer hours and often forget to switch off so it’s almost a wonder we don’t see more office relationships!

“But it is encouraging to see that some people are using these opportunities to develop their business. Given the current state of the UK economy, it is incredibly important that businesses of all sizes are looking at opportunities where they can develop and grow, be that networking on holiday or making new contacts in the lift. The conventional 9am-5pm day is largely gone and businesses are adapting to this by introducing things like flexible working schemes or virtual offices for their staff but as the research shows, the importance of networking cannot be highlighted enough.”


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