The development of interpersonal relationships at work is inevitable.After all, many men and women spend most of their weekday hours together.A workplace romance is considered a relationship that occurs “between two members of an organization where sexual attraction is present, affection is communicated, and both members recognize the relationship to be something more than just professional and platonic” (Horan & Chory, 2011, p. Beyond the 47% involved, about 20% indicated they were receptive to an office romance. Statistics indicate that anywhere from 40-47% of employees surveyed had been involved in a workplace romance.Of those who dated at work, Career Builder found that, like the Obamas, 31 percent said their office romances wound up leading to marriage. Twenty-eight percent of those who had dated a colleague said they went out with someone above them on the company ladder and 18 percent said they had dated their boss.That statistic prompted us to reflect on work relationships that led to power couplings. Harris Interactive conducted the survey online for Career Builder, polling 7,780 full-time workers who were neither self-employed nor worked for the government. Women were more likely than men to date someone above their level: 35 percent of women said they had, while only 24 percent of men did.
Thirty-eight percent of workers said in a new survey by Career that they had dated a co-worker at least once during their working lives. A competing website, Vault.com, ran an office romance survey for seven years, which came up with higher numbers for office coupling.I was a reporter in the New York bureau of a PBS news show, while he was doing graphic design for the local station, WNET.We weren’t exactly colleagues, but we went to work in the same building every day. The other data that skews my perception: Forbes has spawned quite a number of romances, including the late, great editor of the magazine, James Michaels, and his wife, Jean Briggs. (Vault’s sample was smaller, just 2,083.) Career Builder also asked about dating across responsibility levels.Quinn presented an early typology of motives in 1977 detailing that individuals date for love (e.g., authentic love and caring for a person), ego (e.g., the romance is fun and exciting), or job (e.g., the romance is driven by the opportunity to obtain professional benefits) motives.Given the amount of workplace and societal changes that have occurred in the 30 years since Quinn’s work, we decided to update the workplace romance typology. Renee Cowan (@Dr Renee Cowan) of the University of Texas at San Antonio ( we conducted interviews of working adults about their experiences with office romances.