Michelle Moore, the president of a public relations firm in Columbus, Ohio, was married to her husband for 10 years before they divorced in 2008. Prior to their divorce, they worked together on several freelance projects. Today they interact daily while working together on client projects. Sharing an office with an ex might be torture for some people, but Moore says that the arrangement suits them. “We actually make a great team professionally,” she says. “My ex appreciates my creativity and public relations skills. I appreciate his design talents and branding instincts.”
With traditional communities weakening and people working more hours than ever, the office has become a breeding ground for romantic entanglements. CareerBuilder.com conducted a survey last February in which 40% of 3,900 workers said that they had dated a co-worker at some time in their careers. Thirty percent of those people said they had gone on to marry the person.
“Offices are where we spend the majority of our days,” says Helaine Olen, who with Stephanie Losee co-wrote Office Mate: Your Employee Handbook for Romance on the Job. “To tell people not to date their co-workers goes against common sense. As the age that most people marry creeps up and you’re not meeting people in college, where on earth are you meeting them?”