Love is in the air at work

One-third of workers surveyed admit to sleeping with a colleague

Since adults spend the majority of their waking hours at work, it's not surprising that many of them find romance among the cubicles.

A recent survey, just in time for Valentine's Day, revealed one-third of 3,000 people surveyed admitted to sleeping with a colleague — 32 per cent of women and 33 per cent of men.

Work can also be a good place to fantasize about that cute guy or gal down the hall, according to this year's Harlequin Romance Report. The survey found 61 per cent of women said they've had a crush on a co-worker, compared to 57 per cent of men.

While men and women were equally likely to sleep with a co-worker, 65 per cent of men think intra-office romances are acceptable compared to 56 per cent of women.

With so many people being open to love in the workplace, it's not surprising that spouses get suspicious about what might be going on behind closed office doors. The report found 44 per cent of women and 40 per cent of men snoop through their partner's messages and mail.

Unfortunately, not every office romance has a happy ending and companies, and employees, need to protect themselves from the potential fallout of love gone bad. Bensinger, DuPont & Associates, a Chicago-based employee assistance program provider, has these suggestions:

• Don’t date your subordinates; subordinates don’t date your boss. If these relationships go bad the result can be a trip to court.

• Have a clear sexual harassment policy. Make sure this policy has been communicated and signed off on by every employee and management person, including the president of the company.

• Determine if your company needs a separate policy on office romances. If you don’t know the rules, it’s hard to be accountable.

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