Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vivamus convallis sem tellus, vitae egestas felis vestibule ut.

Error message details.

Reuse Permissions

Request permission to republish or redistribute SHRM content and materials.

New SHRM Research Shows Workplace Relationships Contribute to Positive Workplace Outcomes Including Motivation, Sense of Belonging, Commitment to Organization

Nearly Three Quarters (74%) of U.S. Workers Who Used to be in a Workplace Relationship Said it Was Worth It

ALEXANDRIA, Va – Today, SHRM, the trusted authority on all things work, released new research detailing the prevalence of workplace romances today, their impact on U.S. workers’ personal and professional lives, and the repercussions of workplace breakups.

The new research shows that the majority of U.S. workers who are currently in a workplace romance say that their relationship has an extremely positive or positive impact on their professional lives—specifically their: overall mood at work (85%), motivation at work (83%), sense of belonging at work (83%), commitment to their organization (81%), and work/life balance (80%).

“We know that out our work affects our lives and our livelihoods, as this new research proves that workers are finding true connections in the workplace resulting in long-lasting relationships,” said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM president and CEO. “While the data shows overwhelmingly positive outcomes, it is still incredibly important that organizations have guidelines and policies in place – not to interfere with the relationships, but to protect employees from favoritism, retaliation, and incidents of sexual harassment.”

Additional key findings include:

  • Of U.S. workers who used to be in a workplace romance:
    • 62% continued to work with their ex when their relationship ended, while 38% did not.
    • 1 in 10 left a job they otherwise liked due to their workplace romance ending.
    • 22% stayed at a job they disliked longer than they normally would have because of their romance.
    • Nearly three quarters (74%) said that it was worth it.
  • Over a third of U.S. workers (34%) have a “work spouse”—referring to a coworker or business associate with whom one shares a close relationship, similar to the intimacy of a marriage, but platonic. Of these workers:
    • Over 2 in 5 (43%) actually have feelings toward their “work spouse.”
    • 45% feel like they have to hide their relationship with their “work spouse” from their significant other or people they’re dating.
  • The majority of U.S. workers (64%) do not think that organizations should have policies that prohibit workplace romances. However, they do think that organizations should provide guidelines on handling workplace romances to employees (78%).
  • U.S. workers say workplace romances are more acceptable in some situations than others, with much fewer believing they are acceptable between workers of different levels who often or always work together:
    • 58% say workplace romances are acceptable between workers of the same level who rarely or never work together.
    • 45% say workplace romances are acceptable between workers of the same level who often or always work together.
    • 42% say workplace romances are acceptable between workers of different levels who rarely or never work together.
    • 27% say workplace romances are acceptable between workers of different levels who often or always work together.
    • 11% say workplace romances are not acceptable under any circumstances.

To view the full 2024 Workplace Romance Infographic, click here: 


A sample of 1,073 U.S. workers was surveyed from January 3 to January 4, 2024, using a third-party online panel. All workers are paid employees of an organization. Data is unweighted.

About SHRM

SHRM creates better workplaces where employers and employees thrive together. As the voice of all things work, workers and the workplace, SHRM is the foremost expert, convener and thought leader on issues impacting today’s evolving workplaces. With nearly 325,000 members in 165 countries, SHRM impacts the lives of more than 235 million workers and families globally. Learn more at


​An organization run by AI is not a futuristic concept. Such technology is already a part of many workplaces and will continue to shape the labor market and HR. Here's how employers and employees can successfully manage generative AI and other AI-powered systems.