What happens when love blossoms on the job?

By Mike Benbow Herald Columnist

I have a relative who married a co-worker and they’re about to have their first child. So I wasn’t surprised that a CareerBuilder.com survey of 8,038 working adults released last week found that 3 out of 10 people marry a co-worker.

“Employees spend many hours interacting with co-workers, so it’s not unusual for romances to spark,” CareerBuilder.com’s Rosemary Haefner stated in a news release.

Haefner went on to list the top five examples of the most romantic things people have done in the office. They include:

· Having a drink together on the roof.

· Dancing to elevator music in the hallway.

· Eating a late-night picnic with candles after everyone had left.

· After a meeting, picking a girlfriend up in a limo and proposing to her.

· Leaving each other love Post-it notes.

I don’t know about you, but this list scares me.

For one thing, drinking on the job except at a work-sanctioned event sounds like a bad idea to me.

And it doesn’t seem all that romantic. Although maybe your roof is better than mine, which is loaded with air ducts, communications equipment and roofing tar.

And dancing in the hallway to elevator music? Dancing in a bad location to bad music (and in my case you can add bad dancing to the mix) doesn’t seem all that romantic to me.

But maybe I’m just too old-school.

Haefner noted that 72 percent of the workers said they didn’t have to keep their romance a secret, so things may be changing a little in the workplace. But Haefner still promotes professionalism.

“It’s still important for workers to keep it professional and not let their relationship impact their work,” she said.

I think that’s a good plan.

The study also found that while 14 percent of men work with someone they’d like to date, only 5 percent of women feel the same way. So beware of hitting on people at work — there’s certainly a strong chance of a creepiness factor there.

And I’d also go easy on the love Post-it notes. That sounds a lot like junior high school to me, but again, maybe I’m just too old.

The study, conducted by Harris Interactive, did find that office romances can create problems at work. About 7 percent of workers said they have left a job because of one.

Have you ever had an office romance? How did it work out? Ever exchange love Post-it notes? Got any good stories on office romance?

Send me an e-mail. If I get enough responses, I’ll share them (but not contributors’ full names) with our readers.

Mike Benbow: 425-339-3459, benbow@heraldnet.com.