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Dating in the Workplace

What are the Ethical Dangers?

Men and women dating

I recently read a study dealing with dating in the workplace by Zeta: Dating Coworkers in Numbers: 2020 Study. Dating in the workplace is fraught with danger because of potential conflicts of interest when one party has to make decisions that affect the other. Will they make objective judgments? Might their decisions influence the relationship? Is sexual harassment a consideration? These are just a few questions to address before becoming involved in a dating relationship.

Here is more about the results of the study. 

We surveyed 1,000 Americans to find out who dates whom, what happens when peers find out, how serious office flings get, and if fooling around with workmates is worth the sweat.
A few highlights of the survey:
  • Whooping 58% of Americans admit to having dated coworkers, while 89% felt attracted to one.
  • 1/3 of those involved in workplace romance formed a long-term, romantic relationship at work
  • 75% of Americans who dated a co-worker tried to keep their relationship a secret from others. In 82% of the cases, their colleagues eventually found out.
  • 54% say a romantic relationship had no impact on their work relationship and for 28% of them - the work relationship improved.
  • 35% of respondents would spread gossip about an office affair among other co-workers and 21% would report the issue to HR!
Turns out, workplace lovers aren't few and far between. That said, mixing work and romance is a tricky business: there’s the good, the bad, and there’s the ugly.
Check out all findings here: https://zety.com/blog/office-romance


Posted by Steven Mintz, aka Ethics Sage, on October 15, 2020. You can sign up for our newsletter and learn more about Dr. Mintz’s activities at: https://www.stevenmintzethics.com/. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter .