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Office romances rarely kept secret

  • Story Highlights
  • Survey: Forty percent have had office romance
  • Sixty-six percent don't feel it needs to be a secret
  • Workers aged 35 and 44 are most likely to have office romance
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By Rosemary Haefner
Vice President of Human Resources
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CareerBuilder

Editor's note: CNN.com has a business partnership with CareerBuilder.com, which serves as the exclusive provider of job listings and services to CNN.com.

Office romances are nothing new -- they've been around as long as there have been offices. After all, co-workers spend so much time together attractions are bound to occur. Today, however, workers aren't afraid to admit that, in addition to a paycheck, they're also looking for love at the office.

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Love is most definitely in the air

Forty percent of workers have dated a co-worker at some point in their career, according to CareerBuilder.com's annual survey on office romance.

Twenty percent of the 6,700 surveyed workers have engaged in an office romance more than twice. For those who think these relationships lead nowhere, consider that 29 percent of these workers ended up marrying their workplace sweetheart.

People aren't waiting to set the wedding date before announcing their relationship, either. Sixty-six percent of workers don't feel the need to keep their romances a secret these days. Just three years ago the same survey found only 53 percent of workers felt they could be open about their workplace romances.

Of course, just because you can be more open about your relationship, don't forget there are still risks involved. If you can't leave a fight or a bad breakup outside of the office, you both might end up looking unprofessional, regardless of whose fault it is.

Also, colleagues might form their own opinions of you if you date a superior, which 27 percent of surveyed workers have done. Although 98 percent of those who dated a higher-ranking co-worker say the relationship had no affect on their career advancement, many people will assume a promotion -- not mutual attraction -- is your motivation.

Love knows no bounds

Cupid doesn't just strike co-workers when they're on the clock. Thirteen percent of workers began their relationships when they bumped into each other away from the office. Lunch and happy hour were the next most popular places for sparks to fly, with 11 percent each. Yet, despite their reputation as prime opportunities to make a romantic mistake, company parties only accounted for two percent of relationships.

So just who's doing all this dating? Workers between 35 and 44 years of age are the most likely demographic to date a co-worker, with 44 percent having done so. Even though workers aged 55 and older are the least likely group, 34 percent still admitted to an office relationship. That's a lot of love in the air. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

Copyright CareerBuilder.com 2009. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority

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