Office romance persists even without a real office

by Ana Lopez

The return to the office may be slow, but romance in the workplace is still thriving.

According to a Resume Builder survey that evaluated the prevalence of remote office romances, 33% of the group (1,250 self-identified remote workers) said they had begun a romantic connection with someone they met remotely.

“Remote work is still a place where people form romantic relationships,” Resume Builder said in a blog post about the survey, which was held in early February.

The research included romances with other colleagues, clients or investors. Colleagues clocked in at 23%. Of those, 45% were between a manager and a direct report, the blog post added.

Virtual workplaces represent a huge culture shift, and so does the way employees perceive harassment — the virtual workplace could be less formal in tone with fewer people around to witness awkward situations, per The New York Times.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, employees have felt like online environments are the Wild West, where traditional rules don’t apply,” a DEI expert told the outlet in 2021.

Resume Builder noted the problem in the survey, saying more women than men reported sexual harassment in a remote setting.

“Unfortunately, remote work can give bad actors more opportunities or confidence to sexually harass other employees,” Stacie Haller, lead career advisor at Resume Builder, said in the post.

More men in the survey reported starting relationships at work, at 41% versus 25%.

The survey focused on people who had worked remotely for at least six months in the past three years.

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