Melbourne, June 16 : Meeting one's partner at work is nothing new but the trend is catching on really fast Down Under. The reason - employees find the workplace 'a safe and ideal hunting ground for love'.
Matthew Neale, national consulting manager at Onetest, says despite research showing 11 per cent of Australians being in a workplace relationship at any one time, around 80 per cent of them have had a relationship with someone in the office at some stage in our careers.
"It's becoming more and more common - people are spending longer hours at work, so I guess there's a reduced opportunity to meet people outside of work," News.com.au quoted Neale, as saying.
Increased gender integration at work and the perception that work is a "safer" option to meet potential partners is also fuelling the rise, he said.
"People perhaps perceive that they can get to know the people who they work with better and over a longer period of time before entering into a relationship with them," Neale said.
"Whereas if you meet with someone in a bar, the amount of information you perhaps have of them before deciding to pursue a relationship is perhaps a lot more limited," he added.
An increased number of relationships raises questions of whether the boss should be kept in the dark about the romance.
According to Neale, organisations should safe guard themselves by accepting relationships.
"Most workplace relationships do end, and a proportion of those will always end badly. I would advise employers and organisations to make sure they have a comprehensive, up-to-date and enforced harassment policy, because failed relationships often end up in claims of sexual harassment," Neale said.