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"It appears that employees have become more open-minded about relationships between their colleagues." Most employers now permit office romances, even though they discourage it, the survey also discovered.
Warranted or not, couples do tend to worry more about infidelity.Greg Guldner, MD, the center's director, knows about long-distance relationships firsthand.He was doing a medical residency in Southern California when he met his future wife on a trip to Phoenix.According to the SHRM, people under 40 are the most likely to date a co-worker openly. If both partners don't conduct the relationship in a professional manner, experts warn, it can harm morale, lead to charges of favoritism, and damage careers.And some types of romances are still frowned upon, such as one between a supervisor and subordinate or any kind of extramarital affair, Mathews says.But you may very well find your mate through the Internet or in a neighboring cubicle. Now, according to experts who spoke to Web MD, a 21st century union may involve a couple that falls in love at work, now that the office romance is losing its stigma.
Or a couple might be in a commuter marriage, conducting their long-distance relationship through phone calls and web cams.
"With work being what it is today and people devoting lots of hours to their jobs, sometimes the only place to meet someone is at work." Furthermore, boundaries between work and personal life are blurring, especially among young people, experts say.
And some companies unwittingly nudge the trend along by providing exercise and game rooms on site, as well as other social hot spots.
Look no further than Bill Gates and Melinda French for the answer, says Patricia Mathews, MBA, president of Workplace Solutions.
The founder of Microsoft met his wife, a Microsoft employee, at a company event in New York.
The couple survived four years in a two-state relationship before marrying.