by Peggy Drexler
The way office romances are judged is that men do it for love and women do it to get ahead.
According to a recent survey of 8,000 workers by the job-search website CareerBuilder.com, four out of 10 employees have dated someone at work; 17 percent have done it twice. It makes perfect sense: There are more singles in the workforce than ever before, spending more than half their waking hours on the job. With co-workers there’s a familiarity and commonality, not to mention proximity and convenience. There’s often plenty to talk about. Although the CareerBuilder survey also found that 72 percent of workers who have office relationships don’t try to hide them—compared with 46 percent five years ago—interoffice dating, even among colleagues on equal levels or in different departments, is not without complications or negative reactions. And though both men and women who take part in office relationships are judged, women, it seems, bear that judgment far more.
A 2009 study published in the Western Journal of Communication found that most employees have negative perceptions of workplace romance, even though so many of them have taken part in it themselves, and largely direct their annoyance or anger at the woman.
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