Love at Work: Office Romances Often Go Unreported, SHRM Omnibus Poll Finds

 

​One out of every three American adults currently are or previously have been in a workplace romance, according to a new omnibus poll released today by SHRM—the Society for Human Resource Management—the voice of all things work.

However, nearly one-third (28 percent) of those who has been involved in a workplace romance never disclosed it. 

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“Because so much of our waking time is spent at work, it’s no surprise that romances develop in the workplace,” said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., president and CEO of SHRM. “It makes little sense to forbid them. Instead, employees should be encouraged to disclose relationships. This is the most effective way to limit the potential for favoritism, retaliation and sexual harassment claims.”

For those who did report their romance, most said their company was “neither supportive nor unsupportive” (29 percent) or was “supportive” (32 percent).

Those who have never been involved in workplace romances listed these top reasons: 

  • I have never been interested in being involved (56 percent)
  • I am not opposed to it, but have never pursued one (37 percent)
  • I believe workplace romances are unprofessional (33 percent)
  • Concerned about employer policies on workplace romance (25 percent)
Seventeen percent of those who never have been in a workplace romance said they refrained due to concerns of potential sexual harassment claims. More men than women named this concern as a reason to not participate in workplace romances.

Additional resources: 
For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Vanessa Hill at 703-535-6072 and Vanessa.Hill@shrm.org or Kate Kennedy at 703-535-6260 and Kate.Kennedy@shrm.org

About the Society for Human Resource Management
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR professional society, representing 300,000 members in more than 165 countries. For nearly seven decades, the Society has been the leading provider of resources serving the needs of HR professionals and advancing the practice of human resource management. SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China, India and United Arab Emirates. Visit us at shrm.org.





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