Employers, beware workplace relationships

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Bosses should be aware that love – and workplace relationships – are probably in the air.

A survey by the Mountain States Employers Council found that 77 percent of its members met their spouses at work.

The reason behind that statistic might be the increased amount of time Americans spend at work.

“With employees spending more and more time at work, it only makes sense that some people will find romance in the workplace,” said Lorrie Ray, membership development director for MSEC. “The key for employers is making sure that workplace dating does not turn into workplace harassment.”

Employers who don’t expect cupid to strike at their jobs might find themselves unprepared.

For the last three years, CareerBuilder has surveyed American workers, finding that roughly 40 percent have dated a co-worker during their careers, and 32 percent of respondents said they eventually married the person they dated.

While many workplace romances lead to marriage, not all office affairs have positive outcomes. Past surveys of human resource managers revealed that office romances can trigger complaints of favoritism, sexual harassment and decreased productivity.

“With these concerns in mind, employers should craft guidelines that prohibit sexual harassment and offer expectations regarding behavior, while avoiding banning legal, off-duty contact,” Ray said.