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Valentine’s Day is in the offing once again, and whether you’re one to celebrate it or not, love is definitely a key topic of the week. In the light of this, you might consider romance to be something that has nothing to do with the office, however a new survey suggests otherwise.
 
Research published by the Institute of Leadership and Management found that workplace romance is actually more common than you might think in the UK. Conducted amongst more than 1000 employees and managers, the findings reveal that four out of ten people have had a relationship at work.
 
It emerges that the majority of relationships (70%) are with colleagues at the same level, whilst 9% of workers have had romance with their boss. 36% of these relationships actually start at work.
 
However the survey also indicated that mixing love-life and your job isn’t always straight-forward. 21% of respondents felt other colleagues would disapprove of their relationship, whilst 30% claimed they have kept an office romance secret. Charles Elvin, CEO of ILM commented: “The key is how employers handle workplace relationships; if organisations and their managers set clear guidance or policies with boundaries, then certain situations can be prevented.” In actual fact, 64% of managers are fine with relationships at work, as long as it’s kept professional.
 
In short, these findings by the ILM suggest that a career and love life can quite easily end up being intertwined. We’re not just talk about casual flings either: with 37% of those workplace relationships going on to become a couple and 27% ending in marriage or civil partnerships, it looks like the success rate is pretty high. So if you get a Valentine’s card from a colleague this year, you probably shouldn’t underestimate it.