Less than 5% of employees would tell HR about an office romance
- Less than 5% of employees who are dating a coworker would tell HR, even if a workplace policy required it, according to a new Namely survey. Namely polled more than 500 U.S. employees on how often they become involved with each other and HR's role in romantic office relationships.
- Although 61% of survey respondents said their workplaces don't have written policies on workplace relationships, 40% have been involved in a romantic relationship with a coworker. Only 5% of those romances were between a direct report and a manager, and Namely said millennials were more likely than other workers to date a manager.
- Seventy percent of those in office relationships said this romantic arrangement "changed nothing," while 42% of all respondents said they wouldn't comply with a dating policy, even if their workplace had one. However, 6 in 10 respondents said their companies and HR teams were well-prepared to handle for sexual harassment cases, and 62% had participated in anti-harassment training.
Few HR managers want to play the role of dating police. But having policies that set boundaries is wise and even necessary in some cases now that more workers are willing to come forth with claims of unwanted sexual advances.
Workplace romances often aren't as scandalous as they're made out to be, and one recent poll shows office romances have hit a 10-year low. Actual relationships aren't always the goal, either; a 2017 Office Pulse survey found that 70% of employees polled said they had a "work spouse," a confidant and someone with whom they regularly communicate.
Employers can set restrictions on office romances by having a no-tolerance policy, forbidding romantic relationships between managers and subordinates, or specifying that personal and professional relationships are expected to be kept separate.