Survey: Office romance is OK, but save the drama for your mama

Managers need to step in when employee romances hurt job performance and the work environment.
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Feb 23, 2010
By dvm360.com staff

Employees who’ve seen workplace romance in action say they’re OK with office relationships—as long as drama and hurt feelings don’t impact the job, according to a new survey.

The 100 respondents, all students at Ryerson University, demanded managerial action only if the lovers’ relationship or breakup negatively affected their job performance or the work environment. They also thought relationships between managers and employees should be ended.

The study’s author, Nina Cole, an associate professor at Ryerson University’s management school, says the 100 students who’d observed workplace romances in the past were supportive as long as the workplace remained unaffected. The majority of the romances reported involved two single employees (75 percent) in a peer-working relationship (76 percent) in the same department (65 percent). The average length? Twenty months.

Cole’s study, “A Workplace Romance: A Justice Analysis,” was published in the December 2009 issue of the Journal of Business and Psychology.