Press Release Archive
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., Jan. 30, 2007 -- It's that special time of year when romance is in the air and the American workplace is abuzz. In fact, nearly four in 10 workers would consider dating a coworker, and nearly four in 10 have done so, according to the latest Spherion® Workplace Snapshot survey conducted by Harris Interactive®. And with 25 percent of such romances leading to the altar, Cupid is busy.
Despite 41 percent of U.S. workers thinking that a workplace romance would jeopardize their job security or advancement opportunities -- up from 36 percent last year -- 39 percent have already had a workplace romance and the same percentage would consider it. The romance is apparently worth the risk, as 42 percent of workers conduct their romance openly, compared to 35 percent who consider it top secret.
Women are more likely than men to feel that a romantic relationship at work might jeopardize their jobs (47 percent versus 36 percent), so it's not surprising that -- of those who have had a workplace romance -- more women than men kept it under wraps (41 percent compared to 31 percent). Where does it end? Women are more likely to date for several years (21 percent) compared to men (11 percent), but men are somewhat more inclined to take it to the altar than women (27 percent versus 23 percent). Older workers are much more likely to report having married their valentines than workers under age 30, and workers under age 40 are more likely to date openly.
"The results of this survey confirm what we know intuitively -- that many workers find opportunities for romance where they work," says John Heins, senior vice president and chief human resources officer at Spherion. "The new wrinkle is the explosion of online venues such as blogs, YouTube and social networking sites, which provide very public means for personal news to be shared. Becoming a target of gossip on the Internet does have the potential to affect career advancement and job security, especially when the relationship is clearly not appropriate. Workers today should be realistic about whether they can keep a workplace romance secret and should also be aware of the inherent risks."
Other results of the latest Spherion Workplace Snapshot survey:
Female Workers More Likely to be Cupid-Cautious
- Only 30 percent of women would consider dating a coworker, compared to 47 percent of men.
- 47 percent of women think openly dating a coworker would jeopardize their job security or advancement opportunities, compared to only 36 percent of men.
Cupid’s Productivity Stats
- Among workers who have had a workplace romance, nearly one-third (30 percent) say they dated for several months, 15 percent dated for several years and 25 percent married their coworker.
- More than one-quarter (27 percent) dated for several weeks or less.
- Older workers are more likely to report that their workplace romances culminated in marriage than those under age 30, and among workers who are currently aged 65 and older, 45 percent married the object of their affections.
Can Cupid Be Tamed?
- According to the survey, more than half of U.S. workers (53 percent) say their employer does not have a policy regarding workplace romance, while only 16 percent say there is such a policy.
- Nearly one-third (31 percent) were not sure if their employer has a policy.
“Given that most of us spend at least a third of our day at work,” says Heins, “there’s plenty of opportunity to consider a workplace romance. Certainly, it’s a company’s decision whether to allow or discourage coworker dating, but the fact that nearly one-third of workers aren’t sure whether their employers have such a policy is somewhat concerning.” Heins added that organizations need to clearly communicate their policy if one exists, and develop one if not.
The January 2007 Spherion Workplace Snapshot is based on data from the Harris Interactive QuickQuerySM online omnibus conducted monthly by Harris Interactive on behalf of Spherion Corporation. A U.S. sample of 1,588 employed adults, aged 18 years and older, was interviewed in a poll conducted January 3-5, 2007. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, income, education and region were weighted where necessary to bring them in line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting adjusted for respondents' propensity to be online.
With pure probability samples, with 100 percent response rates, it is possible to calculate the probability that the sampling error (but not other sources of error) is not greater than some number. With a pure probability sample of 1,588 U.S. employed adults one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- two percentage points. However, that does not take other sources of error into account. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
Spherion Corporation (NYSE:SFN) is a leading recruiting and staffing company that provides integrated solutions to meet the evolving needs of companies and job candidates. As an industry pioneer for 60 years, Spherion has screened and placed millions of individuals in temporary, temp-to-hire and full-time jobs. Positions range from administrative and light industrial to a host of professions that include accounting/finance, information technology, engineering, manufacturing, legal, human resources and sales/marketing.
With approximately 650 locations in the United States and Canada, Spherion delivers innovative workforce solutions that improve business performance. Spherion provides its services to more than 8,000 customers, from Fortune 500 companies to a wide range of small and mid-size organizations. Employing 375,000 people annually through its network, Spherion is one of North America’s largest employers. To learn more, visit www.spherion.com.
SOURCE: Spherion Corporation
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