- Seventy-seven % of 1,656 respondents to a survey by HR consultancy The Shift Work Store mentioned they’d had a sexual or romantic relationship with a co-worker in some unspecified time in the future, in line with information despatched to HR Dive — a leap from 58% reporting the identical in 2021. Respondents had been extra prone to establish these relationships as “doubtlessly problematic” as properly, with 37% saying so, in comparison with 17% in 2021.
- Shut emotional relationships at work are additionally more and more frequent. Sixty-four % of employees reported having a detailed good friend or “work partner,” the research confirmed — a considerable leap from 24% reporting the identical in 2021.
- Sexual harassment is frequent as properly, the survey discovered. Maybe surprisingly, it’s a specific situation for distant employees, with greater than half (56%) reporting the expertise, in contrast with 50% of in-person employees. Native American or Indigenous employees and Black employees had been most probably to report sexual harassment, and the proportion of males reporting sexual harassment grew in contrast tosorr 2021.
The Shift Work Store’s survey discovered that regardless of the elevated concentrate on sexual propriety since #MeToo, sexual dynamics within the office stay frequent, of each a consensual and nonconsensual nature.
The findings could also be stunning given the tendency of distant and hybrid work to bodily separate employees. However the separation could have merely shifted the dynamics of romantic or undesirable office relationships, relatively than eliminating them.
The motion to digital messaging apps for workplace communication could have created an “air of informality round office communication,” in line with a New York Occasions article on the subject from June 2021. The sensation of detachment from conventional norms and guidelines “can exacerbate misconduct, particularly given how troublesome it may be to discern intent from textual content stripped of tonal cues,” the paper famous.
That is borne out in The Shift Work Store’s information, which confirmed 53% of employees had skilled office sexual harassment by way of e-mail, Slack or different messaging apps.
By way of consensual relationships, The Shift Work Store’s information exhibits way more romantic entanglements than the Society of Human Useful resource Administration present in its ballot from January; SHRM discovered a extra modest one-third of employees had been at present or had beforehand been romantically concerned with a co-worker.
“One speculation we’ve is that whereas our survey respondents represented a broad spectrum of the U.S. viewers, the survey did skew in direction of the 25- to 34-year-old demographic,” Amanda Rue, founding father of The Shift Work Store, informed HR Dive of the potential purpose for the variation of the survey’s findings from SHRM’s. “We imagine this age group could also be extra prone to have interaction in office romances and report doing so.”
Nevertheless, Rue famous, situations had been nonetheless pretty excessive throughout the board. “We additionally imagine it’s because these which might be most probably to choose in to a survey about sexual harassment and sexism could have private experiences with each sexual harassment and office relationships,” she mentioned.
Like The Shift Work Store, nevertheless, SHRM discovered that office romance had risen after the onset of the pandemic.
In June, SHRM’s HR journal laid out some greatest practices for HR professionals concerning office relationships, together with having a proper coverage, requiring disclosure, conserving documentation and never banning such relationships.