Keeping Love a Secret at Work

Canadians are finding love at work but many are hiding it from their coworkers, according to a new study by ADP Canada. Based on self-reported figures, one-third of working Canadians are now or have been romantically involved with a coworker.

Despite the prevalence of workplace romance across Canada, many employees still feel the need to keep their relationship secret. Nearly half (45%) of those in workplace relationships kept it a secret from someone, with 27% keeping it a secret from everyone at work. The study, by Leger Research for ADP Canada, revealed Canadians are more likely to hide a relationship from human resources (37%) or management (40%) than from their colleagues.

Part of this secrecy could be credited to a fear of penalization or a misunderstanding of workplace policies. Approximately half (49%) of participants claim their company does not have a formal policy that addresses workplace relationships. This percentage was even higher in Quebec, with 65 per cent reporting there was no clear policy at their company.

“HR policies should not exist to control employees, but to protect them,” said Heather Haslam, VP Marketing, ADP Canada. “We know people are finding love at work, but many are keeping it a secret. These statistics represent a call to action for organizations to make their policies clear to employees and to offer them the support and resources they need to feel comfortable navigating these situations.”

Survey Highlights:

  • Ontario workers are most likely to indicate workplace relationships have a negative impact on work while they are taking place (47% vs. 43% for the rest of Canada)
  • Albertans were the highest percentage of participants who were aware of a policy or code of conduct on office relationships (41% vs. 31% for the rest of Canada)

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