Home Lifestyle 85% of affairs start at work, survey finds

85% of affairs start at work, survey finds


A recent survey in the UK shows that 85% of affairs begin at work, and one in five colleagues confessed to being unfaithful with a fellow employee.

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INFIDELITY can happen in any place and at any time, but if you work in sales, then you are most likely to cheat with someone at work.

And, apparently, intelligence is seen as sexy, and professors and teachers can’t lecture you on ethics as those in education come in a close second as most likely to have a workplace dalliance.

A recent survey by Rant Casino in the UK shows that 85% of affairs begin at work, and one in five colleagues confessed to being unfaithful with a fellow employee.

Pietermaritzburg-based industrial psychologist Charlene James says: “Office politics is hard to navigate, now throw in an affair and you set yourself up for a toxic mix.”

Almost 4,000 people participated in the “infidelity” survey in the UK, but affairs happen across boundaries and in any place in the world.

While sales and education top the industries where adultery is common, the other industries that provide a breeding ground for workplace affairs might surprise you.

Health-care workers come in at number three.

“Plagued by long and unpredictable hours, overnight emergency shifts, and paramount stress, health professionals may lead them to seek solace with someone who is in the same field and understands their daily struggles,” says Rant Casino.

Transport and logistics workers are fourth on the list, followed by hospitality and events management, engineering and manufacturing and then property and construction.

If you think bean counters are dull, then think again, as they seem unable to control their emotions or libidos, coming in at number eight.

People in IT, yes the computer guys, make the list at number nine and those in the armed forces complete the top 10.

While the allure of forbidden fruit might be tempting, scientists are more analytical about where they have a fling, coming in the bottom of the list at number 25.

Rant Casino says those in business management and law enforcement also rank among the “most faithful professions” and less likely to cheat.

While the survey identified office parties (it’s that time of the year again), late nights on the job and long work trips as some of the reasons for romances, James says affairs at work are frowned upon and loved-up couples could be issued with a warning from the boss.

She says that when you start a new job, part of the on-boarding process is to familiarise yourself with the company’s HR policies and it might include a clause about workplace relationships.

The pitfalls of having affairs on the job include jealousy, perceptions of favouritism if one partner is in a managerial position, or negative work performance if they have a lovers’ quarrel, says James.

She says that in many organisations, spouses are not even allowed to work at the same company because “they might not be able to leave home issues at home” but in the case of government workers, for example if they are employed in different departments, it might be okay.

And just in case you are wondering, communication through texts, phone calls and social media fuelled almost 22% of affairs while 21% admitted that the affair “flourished” at workplace gatherings like the “notorious Christmas party”.

Nearly 13% of those polled confessed to having a “work wife” or “work husband” and said they were more likely to confide in them than their partners.

While many adulterers were discreet and able to keep their affairs secret, 17% were ratted out by colleagues and close to 15% were spotted by their partner’s friends who exposed their secret.

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