Love & the Workplace

Flirting in workplace
© Photographer: Nyul | Agency:

National “WorkSphere” survey reveals workers put love before their careers

Workers have long been cautioned about the hazards of mixing business and pleasure, but according to a new study from leading staffing company Spherion, Cupid may be a presence at various workplaces and influencing many workers to place their love lives before successful careers.

According to Spherion’s “WorkSphere” survey, conducted in January by Harris Poll on the company’s behalf, many workers are more than willing to sacrifice their careers for love – whether it’s not taking a new job because it does not offer spousal benefits (46 percent) or taking a back seat with their own job for their spouse’s work success. In fact, both men (72 percent) and women (73 percent) are equally willing to focus less on their careers for the sake of their partner’s career and family life. About one-in-ten (9 percent) workers say they have already taken a back seat in their career so their spouse or partner could advance instead, and a quarter (26 percent) of workers are extremely or very willing to do so.

The survey also discovered that most workers (70 percent) believe it’s more important for them to focus on their personal lives first, and then their careers after that. And, when it comes to pursuing love, 87 percent of workers say they would not delay or decide not to marry or enter into personal relationships for the sake of their careers. In fact, more than half (64 percent) of workers believe having a spouse or partner actually helps people advance their careers.

Additionally, many workers are mixing business with pleasure on the job; more than a quarter (26 percent) of survey respondents report they met a spouse or partner at work.

“These findings illustrate that many workers are making their personal lives, their relationships and their families their top priorities, even ahead of their careers in many instances,” said Sandy Mazur, Spherion’s division president. “For most employees, work-life balance is a top priority and their job responsibilities must be able to be integrated into their personal lives for them to define their careers as successful.”

Additional survey insights include:

  • Sixty-one percent of employees disagree that having a spouse or partner can slow down a person’s career advancement.
  • Only 18 percent of employees say they would delay or decide not to have children because of their career.
  • More than half (55 percent) of workers would not delay or decide not to go on vacation for the sake of their career.
  • Nearly three of every four employees (73 percent) whose employer extends benefits to their spouse or partner are more likely to stay with the employer because of the spousal/partner benefits. More than three-in-four employees (78 percent) who don’t receive spousal benefits would be more likely to stay if such benefits were offered.
  • Almost three-quarters of workers who receive spousal benefits (72 percent) say that they are more satisfied with their job because their employer offers benefits to their spouse or partner; 77 percent of workers who do not receive spousal benefits would be more satisfied if their employer did so.\

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