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What Millennials Think About Dating in the Workplace

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Zoe Schiffer
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Published on June 15, 2015

At Looksharp we’re all about professional advice. But sometimes personal and professional mix. We recently stumbled upon this 2013 survey that says that  15% of adults are okay with dating coworkers  and got a little curious–how does the Millennial generation stack up? So we did what we always do and asked the Looksharp community for their thoughts on dating in the office. Here are the surprising results:

Millennials Are Ok With Blurring the Line

Millennials are much more open to the idea of office romance. Our survey found that 57% of students said they would be fine dating a co-worker (although only 14% said they had already done so).

Why?

We don’t have all the answers, but our guess is that for millennials, the lines between personal and professional have been blurred for a long time. As  millennials,  we  all  maintain  numerous  online profiles (from Facebook to Snap) and have come to terms with the fact  that hiding all these profiles from employers is next to impossible. Furthermore, with smartphones and laptops now the norm, we all bring our work home with us, on vacation with us, and just about everywhere with us, so it seems natural that our personal lives  would also come to the office with us.

Employers Are Changing with the Times

The good news is that many employers are changing their policies to create  flexible office dating rules in 2015 that accommodate these changing values.

The same  Looksharp survey found that overwhelmingly employers allow interns to bring +1’s to  company events.

dating_in_the_workplace_infographic

Employers know that work spreads into all aspects of our lives. With this in mind they want to become more than a 9-5. One of the most controversial recent examples of this kind of change is when companies ranging from  Apple to Citigroup went ahead with  supporting employees to freeze their eggs. Employers in 2015 want to be there to support the diverse lifestyles of the employees that make up their company and this extends to dating in the office.

Outside of allowing interns to bring +1’s to work events, we are seeing more employers adopt looser  guidelines around dating in the office. The vast majority of employers strictly outlaw dating of one’s supervisor (for obvious reasons) but many are now  allowing inter-office romance as long as they are declared to HR and kept professional.

Here is one quote from a Lifehacker article that helps highlight this new change:

“Our employer is totally fine with relationships in the workplace as long as those involved keep things professional in the workplace. My wife and I pretty much treat each other just like coworkers at work. There’s no physical affection, no “I love you’s” at work. It’s almost like we’re different people at work, which is a good thing and has only gotten easier the longer we’ve done it.”

Conclusion

So I guess–congratulations millennials for continuing to challenge our workplace norms, striving to have your cake and eat it too and navigating the murky waters of romance wherever it is found.

Zoe Schiffer

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