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DESPITE POTENTIAL WORKPLACE DISRUPTION, OFFICE ROMANCES GET THE THUMBS UP FROM HR DIRECTORS

DESPITE POTENTIAL WORKPLACE DISRUPTION, OFFICE ROMANCES GET THE THUMBS UP FROM HR DIRECTORS

Only 4% of HR directors ban office romances

37% of employees have had a work relationship in the past

Workplace disruption is the primary concern for 42% of HR directors

A fifth of HR directors have no concerns over office romances

According to new research1 undertaken by recruitment specialist OfficeTeam, the office may no longer be off-limits for meeting potential partners, with 97% of HR directors surveyed either always or sometimes allowing office romances in the workplace. Only 4% ban it from taking place in the office.

200 HR directors were asked, ’What is your company’s policy on workplace romance?’ Their responses:

Always allow

15%

Sometimes allow

82%

Never allow

4%

101%*

Survey does not equal 100 due to rounding

The survey queried 200 HR directors across small, medium and large businesses and highlights workplace disruption (42%) and other employees’ discomfort (34%) as major objections when it comes to workplace romances,

Despite these concerns, more than one in three (37%) employees have admitted to having had a work relationship in the past. In fact, out of the 1,000 employees questioned in a separate OfficeTeam survey2, nearly three in four (73%) believe romances should be allowed in the workplace. Workers aged 35-44 are the most inclined to have had an & lsquo;Offair’, according to the survey, with more than four in 10 (44%) admitting to having had a relationship. In comparison, only 22% of young adults (18-24) have had a & lsquo;water cooler’ romance.

Office breakups can be tough and is a situation that all concerned want to avoid – particularly the quarter (25%) of HR directors who are concerned over this possibility and the effect it could have on the rest of the office. The external perception concerned one in ten (10%) HR directors with only a fifth (19%) having “no concerns” over office romances.

200 HR directors were asked, ’What is your primary concern regarding workplace romances?’ Their responses:

Workplace disruption

42%

Other employees’ feelings / discomfort

34%

Diminished productivity

26%

Possibility of the couple breaking up

25%

Favouritism

20%

External perception

10%

External perception

19%

 
Phil Booth, Director, OfficeTeam said: “As colleagues spend increasingly longer hours working side-by-side, it isn’t surprising that workplace romances may occur, particularly  as many employees have met their future wife or husband in the office.  However, there are many real issues that employees and senior managers need to acknowledge when considering situations of this nature. HR departments should stay informed about potential legal ramifications but most importantly maintain open lines of communication with line managers and employees to help address any issues as they arise.”

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