"It's clear from this year's survey results that workers remain fearful that dating in the workplace could jeopardize their job security, a sentiment that may be heightened due to ongoing uncertainty in the economic situation," says John Heins, senior vice president and chief human resources officer at SFN Group, Inc. "Just three years ago, workers didn't feel this way. In 2008, only a third of people were hesitant to start relationships at the office. When facing an economic environment where mass layoffs, restructuring and unemployment reign, workers appear to be less willing to risk their jobs for love.
"Ambiguous policies on office romance don't help, either. If office policies aren't clearly communicated or don't exist at all, people can't measure the potential consequences of how an office romance will be perceived or handled by the company. We believe that if employers put clear measures in place to properly manage the possibility of workplace romances, workers might feel safer to pursue these relationships. One thing that's clear is without a policy in place, people aren't at ease," said Heins.
Marriage May Lead to Changing Jobs
Of the 13 percent of those surveyed who had relationships that resulted in marriage, only nine percent are still employed by the same company, indicating that most married couples who begin by working together don't continue doing so.
Declaring Love at Work
Almost half (46 percent) of survey participants feel that workplace relationships should be governed by formal company policies. However, one third (36 percent) work at companies without a relationship policy, and 43 percent don't know if their company has a relationship policy at all.