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-A third of UK workers exchange flirty emails, despite being in relationships-

-70% have kept their work flings completely secret-

8 February 2008 – Longer working hours, more project collaboration and increased socialising out of hours is leading to an increased number of office romances according to Reed, the UK’s largest recruiter.

54% of the 2000 workers polled this month by owned up to having a secret crush on one of their work colleagues. One in three admitted they had exchanged suggestive emails and texts with someone at work, even though they were in a relationship with someone else and 38% of people have had an office romance.

UK workers it seems have an ambivalent attitude to office affairs and the old adage, ‘don’t mix business and pleasure’ is out of date. 71% of all respondents stated that they wouldn’t mind if their colleagues were having an affair in the office, with an overwhelming consensus (89%) stating that it was none of their business. Just 8% of workers said they would confront their colleagues if they discovered they were having an affair.

This doesn’t mean they would own to up having an affair themselves. 70% of respondents who had embarked on an office romance, kept it completely secret from their co-workers.

It also seems that banning office romances isn’t high on the list of priorities for most UK companies – 81% of companies have no formal policy in place to deal with office relationships.

For many the office is a fantastic environment to meet a future partner. 45% of respondents stated it is the best place to meet a life partner. 10% of those questioned had ended up living with someone they had met at work and 7% had even married a work colleague.

Further evidence that office romances are no longer the taboo they once were is that 70% of respondents said that they would not feel any pressure for them or their partner to leave the company if they started dating.

Lewis Woodward, Head of Network Marketing Reed comments, “It is surprising that people seem so totally unphased by office romances taking place around them, even though they are reluctant to own up to their own office flings. On a more serious note, with one in five workers claiming their employers did have policies around office relationships, anyone thinking about getting involved with someone in the office would be wise to check their employee manual to determine what policies actually exist. It is also worth thinking long and hard about the consequences if things go wrong.”

Notes to Editors:

Reed is the UK’s leading independent specialist provider of temporary, contract and permanent employees. Assisting jobseekers and Employers since 1960, a combination of a national network of over 300 branches and the industry-leading website, receives over 1 million job applications per month, mean that Reed has the widest selection of skilled candidates and job opportunities available in the UK. All statistics supplied by

For enquiries and more information, please contact:

Kathryn Hughes
PR Consultant
T: 0203 249 1072 / 07801 823 839

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