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Research: 77% of employees have had an intimate office relationship

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Dive Temporary:

  • Seventy-seven p.c of 1,656 respondents to a survey by HR consultancy The Shift Work Store stated they’d had a sexual or romantic relationship with a co-worker in some unspecified time in the future, in response to knowledge despatched to HR Dive — a soar from 58% reporting the identical in 2021. Respondents had been extra prone to determine these relationships as “doubtlessly problematic” as nicely, with 37% saying so, in comparison with 17% in 2021.
  • Shut emotional relationships at work are additionally more and more frequent. Sixty-four p.c of employees reported having a detailed good friend or “work partner,” the examine confirmed — a considerable leap from 24% reporting the identical in 2021.   
  • Sexual harassment is frequent as nicely, the survey discovered. Maybe surprisingly, it’s a specific problem for distant employees, with greater than half (56%) reporting the expertise, in contrast with 50% of in-person employees. Native American or Indigenous employees and Black employees had been most certainly to report sexual harassment, and the proportion of males reporting sexual harassment grew in contrast tosorr 2021.

Dive Perception:

The Shift Work Store’s survey discovered that regardless of the elevated give attention to sexual propriety since #MeToo, sexual dynamics within the office stay frequent, of each a consensual and nonconsensual nature.   

The findings could also be shocking given the tendency of distant and hybrid work to bodily separate employees. However the separation could have merely shifted the dynamics of romantic or undesirable office relationships, slightly than eliminating them. 

The motion to digital messaging apps for workplace communication could have created an “air of informality round office communication,” in response to a New York Instances article on the subject from June 2021. The sensation of detachment from conventional norms and guidelines “can exacerbate misconduct, particularly given how troublesome it may be to discern intent from textual content stripped of tonal cues,” the paper famous. 

That is borne out in The Shift Work Store’s knowledge, which confirmed 53% of employees had skilled office sexual harassment through electronic mail, Slack or different messaging apps. 

By way of consensual relationships, The Shift Work Store’s knowledge reveals much more romantic entanglements than the Society of Human Useful resource Administration present in its ballot from January; SHRM discovered a extra modest one-third of employees had been at present or had beforehand been romantically concerned with a co-worker.

One speculation we’ve is that whereas our survey respondents represented a broad spectrum of the U.S. viewers, the survey did skew in the direction of the 25- to 34-year-old demographic,” Amanda Rue, founding father of The Shift Work Store, informed HR Dive of the potential cause for the variation of the survey’s findings from SHRM’s. “We consider this age group could also be extra prone to have interaction in office romances and report doing so.”

Nevertheless, Rue famous, cases had been nonetheless pretty excessive throughout the board. “We additionally consider it’s because these which are most certainly to choose in to a survey about sexual harassment and sexism could have private experiences with each sexual harassment and office relationships,” she stated.

Like The Shift Work Store, nonetheless, SHRM discovered that office romance had risen after the onset of the pandemic. 

In June, SHRM’s HR journal laid out some finest practices for HR execs concerning office relationships, together with having a proper coverage, requiring disclosure, retaining documentation and never banning such relationships. 

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