Office romance still frowned upon in Singapore

57 per cent of Singapore workers polled said they would not date a co-worker, according to an online job survey.

Of those who indicated they were against office romances, about 49 per cent of male respondents, while 64 per cent of female respondents said the same.

For the others who are open to dating, or have dated a colleague before, more men (44 per cent) than women (36.1 per cent) are willing to begin a relationship with someone from the workplace.

The survey also found that both genders were most open to dating a peer at the office (60.8 per cent men and 49.4 per cent women). In contrast, 60.5 per cent male respondents were averse to dating their superiors, while 75.8 per cent women respondents were not likely to date their subordinates.

The survey by Singapore online job portal, JobsCentral, had a total of 2,281 respondents, and was conducted online from August to September 2011.

Younger employees aged below 30 were more open to office romance, with 46.4 per cent indicating so they would date a colleague, or have been in a relationship with one. But 64.9 per cent of older workers aged 41 to 50 frowned on such liaisons.

Of those who have admitted to engaging in an office romance, close to 80 per cent said they were not treated negatively by other colleagues after their relationship was made known. But out of those who have dated a subordinate, 23.3 per cent faced the most hostility, compared to 19.3 per cent who dated someone of a similar rank.

And your designation in the office is a deciding factor too, when it comes to starting a workplace relationship. Managers and directors are most cautious, while associate professionals and technicians are most open to embarking on one.

Miss Michelle Lim, COO of JobsCentral Group, noted that Singapore workers are wary of potential gossip surrounding office romances, so they either keep clear of it, or keep such a relationship under wraps. And they also draw a clear line between work and romance.

She has this advice for those who are thinking of dating someone from the office: "It is advisable that you also socialise with other people in the company. More importantly, keep work strictly separate from your personal relationships.

“For managers, if you are seeing a subordinate, it is often not enough to just make sure you remain impartial. You should let your boss know about the situation. In many cases, the company may require one of you to transfer to another team to prevent issues like unhealthy gossips, allegations of favouritism and management difficulties."