Bull Bear Report Feb 14 2011

Surprise! Bankers Get More Love in the Office Than Accountants

By julie steinberg

When it comes to love, sometimes stereotypes hold true.

It will probably surprise no one to discover that bankers are much bolder than accountants when acting on their romantic feelings in the office. According to a recent survey from Vault.com, a career website that offers rankings, advice and job listings, 44% of bankers say they've never had a workplace tryst, compared to 53% of accountants. And both groups are less likely to snuggle up with a coworker than those in any other profession. Perhaps it's all that time spent on PowerPoint presentations and client meetings.

According to the Vault survey, which was taken by over 2,000 employees in mid-January, 41% of respondents said they've never had an office romance.

For those who said they've had an office romance, "random office hookup" and "ongoing but casual relationship" were the most popular types of relationships to be found at the office across all industries, including banking. The average respondent was most likely to engage in an ongoing but casual relationship (29%), while bankers favored random office hookups (23%). Accountants bucked the trend and leaned more toward a long-term, serious relationship (19%).

One banker commented that his relationship started because he "had a massive crush and kind of dated a more senior female colleague." Another said that the object of his affection "resigned. Then we hooked up."

Who was willing to be physically intimate in the office, say, in the photocopy room, for instance? Across all industries, 33% of those who had an office romance said they had a tryst in the office. Bankers almost matched that average with 32.5%. Accountants weren't so intrepid: only 21.74% said they had.

Bankers were also more likely to get caught in the middle of that tryst: compared with 0% of accountants, 3.7% of bankers said they had been walked in on. That was less than the average of 4.2% across all industries, however.

Accountants, as opposed to bankers, would do it all over again: 71% said that based on their previous experience, they would participate in another office affair. Only 60% of bankers said they would, while the overall average hovered at 63%.

When asked which kinds of office romances were unacceptable, one banker noted: "By company policies these are unacceptable, however they will happen, unless they strip us completely of what makes us human. Although I think the more companies force the robotic standards, the more people will try to defy them, even if unawaringly." [ed. note: he probably meant unconsciously.]

Accountants were more cautious. One commented that "co-workers who are in a boss-subordinate position" don't make acceptable romantic couplings.

Bankers may be taking less risk these days when it comes to bundling loans, but when it comes to office love, they're still more daring than cautious accountants.

Write to Julie Steinberg

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