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Forty Percent of Workers Have Dated a Co-Worker, Finds Annual CareerBuilder.com Valentine’s Day Survey

More Than Three-in-Ten End Up Marrying Co-Workers They Dated

CHICAGO, February 10, 2009 - With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, cupid’s arrows have started to fly - and may be landing in a cubicle or office near you. Four-in-ten (40 percent) workers reveal they have dated a co-worker at some time during their careers, with 18 percent admitting to doing it twice or more, according to CareerBuilder.com’s annual office romance survey of more than 8,000 workers. More than three-in-ten (31 percent) said they went on to marry the person they dated at work.


Office courtships may be stemming from current workplace crushes. Ten percent of workers currently work with someone who they would like to date, with more men (14 percent) than women (5 percent) reporting they would like to do so.

Workers aren’t just interested in dating their peers. Among workers who dated a co-worker in the last year, thirty-four percent admit they have dated someone with a higher position in their company. Of those who have dated a higher up in the last year, 42 percent have dated their boss; female workers more so than males, at 47 percent and 38 percent, respectively.

"Employees spend many hours interacting with co-workers, so it’s not unusual for romances to spark," said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder.com. "While workplace relationships may be more accepted these days, with 72 percent of workers saying they didn’t have to keep their romance a secret, it’s still important for workers to keep it professional and not let their relationship impact their work."

Twelve percent of workers reported that their relationships started when they ran into each other outside of work. Some other situations where office romances found their spark included:

  • Working late at the office (11 percent)

  • Happy hour (10 percent)

  • At lunch (10 percent)

Workers provided the following top five examples of the most romantic things they have done in the office:

    1.) Had a drink together up on the roof.
    2.) Danced to the elevator music in the hallway.
    3.) Ate a late night picnic with candles after everyone had left.
    4.) After a meeting, picked up my girlfriend in a limo and proposed to her.
    5.) Left each other love post-it notes.

The survey also showed the repercussions of workplace romance, with 7 percent of workers saying they have left a job due to an office romance.

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder.com among 8,038 employees (employed full-time; not self-employed; non-government) ages 18 and over between November 12 and December 1, 2008 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset of U.S. employees, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 8,038 one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 1.09 percentage points, respectively. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

About CareerBuilder.com
CareerBuilder.com is the nation’s largest online job site with more than 23 million unique visitors and over 1.6 million jobs. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company, The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), the company offers a vast online and print network to help job seekers connect with employers. CareerBuilder.com powers the career centers for more than 1,600 partners, including 140 newspapers and leading portals such as AOL and MSN. More than 300,000 employers take advantage of CareerBuilder.com’s easy job postings, 28 million-plus resumes, Diversity Channel and more. CareerBuilder.com and its subsidiaries operate in the U.S., Europe, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit http://www.careerbuilder.com.

CareerBuilder Media Contact
For all media inquiries and interview requests, contact:

Jennifer Grasz
(P) 773-527-1164
(E) jennifer.grasz@careerbuilder.com