Relationships with work colleagues more likely to blossom in winter months, according to study

Yes, it's the cliched Christmas party that's to blame

David Maclean
in New York
Monday 30 October 2017 13:43 GMT

While you may assume that trips to sunny beer gardens with colleagues after work could be the perfect breeding ground for blossoming office romances – you’d be wrong.

A study of more than 2,000 professionals and workplace relationships has found that you’re twice as likely to embark on an office fling during the winter months.

And office romances are more common than you’d probably realise; 45% of those questioned said they’d dated a co-worker at some point in their lives.

But it’s a trend that’s not likely to go down well with some employers – more than a quarter of bosses say they would prefer their staff not to date each other.

That’s why 40% of dating colleagues like to keep their relationship status on the down-low for as long as possible.

And as a fifth of encounters involve a married partner – there’s another big reason for extra discretion.

Two third of office workers say their romance started during the winter months. And that’s partly down to that most clichéd of locations: the office Christmas party.

Tim Canterbury and Dawn Tinsley embrace in The Office Christmas special in 2003, after months of workplace flirting

More than 30% of first kisses between colleagues take place at the event, where the colleague you see day-in day-out throughout the year put on their best party clothes and spruce up their appearance. The study was carried out by Reboot Digital, and found numerous horror stories of workplace romances causing unhappiness.

A 26-year-old recruitment officer called Catrina said her partner took it badly when she broke off their relationship, and embarrassed her at the Christmas party. Rob, 34, said his career in real estate ended when a colleague scuppered his promotion by telling the boss about his liaisons in a client’s house with his office partner.

And in one unusual instance, a married man chose to employ his wife under him in his office. But it took such a toll on their relationship that they ended up divorced – but still work together now.

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