Workplace Romances: “Going to Work Is Amazing and Really Fun”

  •  Lars Goran Wallgren Tengberg    
  •  Inga Tidefors    


Much of the research on workplace romance has been conducted in the United States, and the focus has often been on negative consequences and risks for gender discrimination. The purpose of this study was to obtain an understanding of workplace romance through the point of view of those involved. Data were collected from five female participants and five male participants in separate focus groups; all participants had started a love affair at work. The thematic analysis of the transcripts showed that having a workplace romance was mostly a positive experience. However, all participants described the need to keep their romances secret for two main reasons: one, to avoid possible negative consequences, and the other, to enjoy feelings associated with a secret love affair. To some degree, the participants seemed to excuse themselves more readily than others whose behavior they thought was worse. When asked about workplace rules and policies, the participants wavered between expressing negative views and describing situations where rules could be needed.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.