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Avoid a Valentine’s day massacre

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Watch out for Cupid's wayward arrows flying around the office this Valentine’s Day. 

CareerBuilder.co.uk’s annual survey on office romance found two in five (39  percent) U.K. workers have dated someone who worked for the same company, and 36  percent said they went on to marry the person. The national survey was conducted online in January 2015 and included a representative sample of 1,000 full-time, workers across industries and company sizes.

Risky Business Affairs

While one in five (19  percent) of the workers said they were attracted to people who work in similar jobs as them; for some, office romances can potentially be career risky. Of those who have had an office romance, 24  percent have dated their boss, additionally two in five (41  percent) workers admit to dating someone in a higher position than them. As if dating the boss wasn’t perilous enough, nearly 3 in 10 workers (28  percent) have had an affair with a co-worker where one person involved was married at the time.

Keeping It Classified

In this day of social media and over sharing of our big life events, more than four in ten workers (44  percent) say they have had to keep their office romance a secret, although 37  percent have accidentally run into co-workers while out on a date with their office sweetheart. 

Blissfully Happy Hours

Sometimes, however, the heart wants what the heart wants – and those sparks just need the right encouragement to ignite. Most office romances begin at happy hour (17  percent), followed by over lunch (12  percent), working together on a project (12  percent) and running into eachother outside the office (12  percent). One in ten workers (11  percent) claim they found love at the company holiday party, while 9  percent say it happened while working late at night.

Tips for Navigating a Workplace Romance:

Check the Company Handbook – Some companies have strict policies around office romances. Acquaint yourself with the rules before turning a professional relationship into a personal one. 

Proceed with Caution – Some romances lead into marriage, but others can lead into disaster. Seven percent of workers reported having to leave their jobs because of an office romance that soured. Take the time to get to know someone first and carefully weigh risks and benefits.

Compartmentalise – Keep your work life separate from your home life.  Avoid showing PDAs in the office and don’t involve co-workers in personal disagreements.

Think Before You Post – Be careful what you post on social media. You can end up outing your relationship before you’re ready to discuss it.