It’s the final push, the end of the year is nearly upon us; and for most of us that only means one thing: office party time is just around the corner!
Halloween and Bonfire Night are the warm-ups to the big party-season that starts in earnest in December. It’s that time of the year where it’s suddenly OK to let your hair down, be a bit cheeky to the boss, and revel in your successful 12 months.
But – as most managers will also be fearing – it’s also that time of the year when elicite at-work encounters begin, and where flirting over a glass of bubbly can lead to trouble bubbling ahead.
According to Vault’s Office Romance survey (2011), around 23% of men and 15% of women claim to have had short-term relationships at work. Although a significant 34% of people surveyed thought these romances (or quick flings) were ‘unacceptable’; a far higher 65% of those who’d had such encounters said they wouldn’t be put off doing the same thing again.
But is this such bad news for bosses? Should finding someone attractive at work really be so calamitous?
Last month CBS commissioned a survey looking at the likelihood of inter-colleague liaisons. Not only did it conclude they were 'inevitable', but surprisingly perhaps, it found that they weren't all as bad as it's made out. It found that relationships that started in the workplace are actually far more likely to lead to marriage (14%), than relationships formed via other means - such as meeting via friends (11%)
A CBS spokesperson said: “Being in a relationship where you work in the same place as your partner means you have something in common before you even get to know each other. Being in the same career also means you are both like-minded and have similar interests.”
So…should single employees be less awkward or hesitant about starting an office romance?
The answer could well be yes – after all, you can’t help falling in love with, and if the stats say you’re more likely to last as a couple, then who can argue with that?
It just means couples at work need managing better.
And, if it's you, just make sure it’s something genuine, not a drunken moment with that colleague who’s always been trying to hit on you. Nothing positive hardly ever comes from office misdemeanors that start in party season.
The best advice is let the parties start; but sit back, and take your time. If Mr or Mrs Right comes along, make sure you hook up for all the right reasons.