Love isn't just in the air, it's also in the office.
More than 40 percent of employees admit to dating a co-worker at some time during their career, with 20 percent saying they've done so more than twice, according to Careerbuilder.com's annual Valentine's Day survey which was released this week.
Additionally, close to 30 percent said they went on to marry somebody whom they dated while at work.
While office romances can begin at the desk, they are more likely to spark at seemingly benign functions outside working hours. About 13 percent said their romances began when they ran into a co-worker outside the office. Others, 11 percent, said their romances began at lunch or Happy Hour, while 10 percent said it was a result of working together after-hours. Two percent cited the company holiday party, while 10 percent attributed their romances to love at first sight, the survey said.
Of those who date co-workers, 27 percent said they have dated somebody in a higher position in their organization. Females, at 37 percent, did that more than males, at 20 percent, the survey said.
Those ages 35 to 44 were the most likely to have dated a co-worker at some time during their career, with 44 percent of respondents saying they have done so. Those ages 55 and older were the least likely to have dated a co-worker, the survey said.
"Dating a co-worker appears to be more accepted in the office these days, with 66 percent of workers saying they do not have to keep their romances a secret at work," said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder.com. "It is important to remember to always maintain the highest level of professionalism when dating a co-worker and keep any conflicts that may arise outside the office."
On the downside of things, 90 percent of respondents reported that having a relationship with a co-worker did nothing to advance their careers, and six percent of workers said their romances drove them to leave their jobs.
The online survey of 6,074 adults 18 and older conducted between Nov. 13 and Dec. 3 by Harris Interactive has a sampling error of 1.3 percent.