Thanks To Millennials, Office Romances Are Totally Fine

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Millennials get a lot of criticism for their behavior in the workplace, but one thing The Olds can thank millennials for? The office romance stigma is finally dying.

Office romances used to be HR violations and sources of gossip, but millennials just don’t care enough about other people’s business to let that matter. NBC News reports that office romances are not only more common than ever, but also less likely to be deliberately kept under wraps because, well, who cares?

“I think the younger generation is going to be more inclined to do this and be OK with it,” said Tim Eisenhauer, co-founder and President of HR technology firm Axero Solutions, told NBC.

A CareerBuilder survey found that 36 percent of workers dating a colleague felt the need to keep their relationship secret today, while10 years ago, 46 percent of respondents reported that they hid their relationships from their coworkers. Now that most of us spend more time at work than anywhere else, people are starting to notice that there’s not many other opportunities to meet partners outside.

“Most people spend more time at work than they do at home,” Deborah Muller, CEO of HR technology firm HR Acuity, told NBC. “It becomes a very social thing … for the younger generation, that’s their group, that’s where they meet.”

Of course, that doesn’t mean you should make out at the copier or anything, but know that mixing business with pleasure and discretion isn’t likely to get you fired … with one exception.

Bosses dating underlings is still bad news bears: There’s an awkward power dynamic and lots of potential lawsuits if things don’t pan out well. Avoid.

One more plague of office romances that wasn’t too big a deal until the recession? Keep in mind that if you and your partner or spouse both work for the same company, if the company goes under, you’re both out of income. And that can be very, very scary. Other than that? Pucker up (but in private) and keep flirting with your cube mate.

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