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How you view office romances may have a lot to do with your age, according to a recent survey from Workplace Options and Public Policy Polling.

The poll results, which were released this week, show that the millennial generation tends to view workplace relationships in a more positive light than their older colleagues do. In fact, 71 percent of employed millennials see an office romance as having positive effects, such as improved morale and performance.

More of the poll results that highlight generational differences in the workplace:

  • 84 percent of millennials say they would engage in a romance with a co-worker – compared to 36 percent of Generation X workers (age 30-45), and only 29 percent of baby boomers (age 46-65)
  • 40 percent of millennials report no negative effects at all from an office romance; only 10 percent of older workers shared that sentiment
  • Around 40 percent of millennial generation respondents say they would date their supervisor, compared to 12 percent of older respondents
  • Overall, 47 percent of respondents reported that they had observed romantic relationships in the workplace
  • 57 percent said that if they had a romantic relationship with a colleague, they would share information about it with others (with friends, co-workers or via social networks)

The survey shows marked differences in opinion between millennial employees and their Generation X or baby boomer counterparts that may have an impact on office dynamics. A large percentage of millennial respondents, for example, feel that office relationships don’t carry negative consequences and that it is acceptable to date a supervisor, compared to a small minority of older employees who agree with these sentiments.

“Relationships between co-workers of similar stature are one thing, but relationships between supervisors and direct reports can be dangerous,” said Dean Debnam, CEO of Workplace Options, in a press release.

”Regardless of the culture or industry of any given company, clear communication about personal relationships among co-workers is vital. Employees must be made aware of where the boundaries are so that things that occur on personal time don’t become a distraction or a source of conflict in the workplace.”

Have you noticed these generational differences in the workplace in your own office? Do you think the millennial generation’s attitude toward office relationships is a sign we are evolving with the times, or do you think it will be problematic in the future? Share your thoughts in the comments.

For the Millennial Generation, Are Office Romances a Good Idea?


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