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Finding Love…At Work?

On a day when love is in the air, it’s appropriate to take a look at what’s happening to singles looking for love in today’s workplace. According to the American Management Association, 30% of workers say they have dated at the office. And 44% have married someone they dated at work. (See AMA’s 2003 Survey on Workplace Dating.) According to one worker who later married her boss, “Old rules are vanishing…[w]orking with your partner is a wonderful way to get to know aspects of his personality.” (See USA Today article.) Management attitudes about employees who date seems to be slowly evolving as well as younger employees become managers: according to the AMA survey, nearly 70% of managers in their 30s and 40s say it’s OK for employees to date, compared to 66% of managers in their 50s and 60s who find it acceptable for employees to date. Some companies do ban office dating or dating between a supervisor and subordinate. A few companies even ask couples to sign contracts stating that the relationship is consensual, to minimize the risk of sexual harassment lawsuits. Some of the reasons for the rise in workplace dating: More women have joined the labor force, which means male and female co-workers come into closer contact than ever before, and workers are putting in longer hours and getting to know one another on a more intimate basis. These trends are likely to continue, making it increasingly likely that the partner of your dreams might just be in the next cubicle.

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