Are You Flirting At The Office?

Back in April, we decided to do a bit of research into office romance. We wondered whether the credit crunch had doused people’s passions, or if secret smiles and winsome winks were being exchanged over desks throughout the land.

We got our elves to ask more than 520 office workers how much the current financial climate is affecting their love lives — and a resounding 76% answered “not at all”. Which, we were hugely pleased about. There’s hope for us yet!

If anything, flirting has become the order of the day at the office with 65% acknowledging that it goes on and 18% of those admitting they openly flirt around the office and “don’t have to hide it”.

Flirting hot spots include the office nights out, with 1 in 3 saying they are the most popular place to flirt, closely followed by the kettle – 1 in 4 pointing out the popularity of mingling while brewing a cuppa. (Remember chaps, to impress the ladies you have to dunk your tea bag provocatively. We promise you won’t look stupid. Nope, not at all.)

We asked Simon Drakeford, our CEO, what he thought of the results.

“Office banter is an important part of keeping team up morale, but people need to know their limits.  When it comes to workplace behaviour, everyone needs to be acutely aware of what is and what is not appropriate.  Respecting limits can not only spare individuals the personal embarrassment of flirting gone awry, but also reduce the risk of causing more serious office problems – or even a lawsuit.”

We asked Simon his opinion again, but this time hoped he wouldn’t sound so formal.

“Office romance is part of working life, but perhaps people should be a bit careful in case they end up annoying someone or hurting their feelings.”

Talking of hurting people’s feelings – see what we did there? – our survey covered more than office romance. We also dug into the darker side of office life, the plotting and the scheming!

A shocking 15% of respondents would play dirty to save their job if it was on the line – 8% of people saying they’d go so far as to sexually compromise their boss so he/she couldn’t sack them and a further 7% saying they’d sabotage a colleague’s work or spread rumours about other employees to make themselves look better. In both instances, men were just as likely as women to consider these drastic measures.

So, in short, you ‘orrible lot!

But when it comes to flexibility, women outshone men. When asked “would you take a serious pay cut to save your job?”, 53% of the women said they would, compared to only 36% of the chaps. Instead, 46% of the men “would be happy to leave and wouldn’t do anything” to keep their jobs, whereas only 36% of women said they’d give up without a fight.

Finally, according to the survey, the most flirtatious staff in the country are in Scotland, the most flirtatious sector overall being leisure and tourism – closely followed by financial services.

So there you are! It seems that even in these times of financial doom and gloom, a kiss and a cuddle can make everything OK. Just be careful who you’re cuddling!

P.S. Our survey was mentioned on, SMEweb and Personnel Today. Which was nice.

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