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UK workplaces are a hotbed of romance, study shows

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A stolen glance over a photocopier or giggly conversations by the watercooler may be signs that a workplace romance is brewing, as research reveals they are more common than you might expect. 

More than a third of UK workers admit to having had a relationship with a colleague, and 17 percent say they’ve had more than one, according to new research* carried out for budgeting account provider thinkmoney. More than half of those questioned in London say they’ve had an office romance. While a third of those who’ve had a romance at work either got married or still remain a couple, 35 percent say their relationship was nothing more than a fling, the research shows.

The fall-out from a workplace liaison can have a big impact on the careers of those involved, with a quarter of people switching to a new team or even moving to a new company after their relationship ended, the study shows.

For 19 percent of people, life was a little more awkward, as they continued to work with their colleague, but tried to avoid each other. A further 15 percent said they kept their relationship a secret to avoid potential problems at work. Ian Williams, a spokesman for thinkmoney, said: “People often spend more time with their colleagues than they do with anyone else, so it’s understandable that banter and flirting can lead to something more. What’s really interesting is the high number of people whose careers have been affected after their relationships have ended. “Before you get into a workplace romance, make sure you think carefully about whether it will last and what the potential downside could be.”

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