Winter brings with it more festivities within the workplace and with that more chances to flirt and socialise with co-workers a new study has revealed

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According to research by Reboot Digital people are more than twice as likely to embark in an office fling during the winter months. The study found that 45% of respondents admitted to dating a co-worker at some point in their professional life, while 12% even admitted to having dated their boss.

While employees may enjoy their office trysts, their employers don’t necessarily approve, with 26% of employers stating they would prefer if their employees did not date each other. This does not hinder employees though, especially as the temperature gets a bit chillier. 66% of workers admitted their romance began over the festive period and a total of 31% shared their first kiss at the office Christmas party, perhaps as a result of liquid courage.

Due to company policy or just wanting to maintain their privacy, more than a third (38%) of employees choose to keep their dating low profile, this particularly applies to 20% who admitted to an office fling with a married colleague.

Office romances don’t always have happy endings as 6% of respondents confessed that they had lost their job due to their office relationship and a further 9% had been forced to leave their job due to irreconcilable relations with workers.

In the spirit of Halloween, Reboot Digital has compiled 6 horror stories about office romances gone bad:

“I started dating a guy from our finance department. It was going well for a few months, until I started to see another side to him. He became possessive and a general ‘glass is half empty’ kind of guy. When I finally broke it off I thought my only saving grace would be that we worked in different departments, and wouldn’t have to see each other that much at work. My ex took every opportunity to call me up; from asking how to use the new coffee machine, to demanding the email addresses of other colleagues. Things got worse when it came to our work’s Christmas do. He saw me talking to a male colleague and started telling everyone how I left him because he ‘didn’t make enough money’. Luckily for him I was about as interested in my job as I was in salvaging our relationship - I soon found somewhere new” Catrina A, 26, Recruitment Officer.

“I worked as an estate agent for a few years, and in that time, I started covertly dating a colleague. When the sexual tension got too much in the office we would arrange to meet in a vendor’s house, when we knew they would be out, and we would do the deed. Another colleague caught wind of what we were doing and, to scupper my chance at a promotion, told our superior about it all. Needless to say, that ended my foray into real estate.” Rob, 34, HR Executive.

“My employer was really strict about dating colleagues and said it interfered too much with our work. So, when I started dating a guy a few desks away we decided to not tell a soul. We’d often send naughty messages back and forth over email with inconspicuous subject headings, until one day I received a team-wide message from my manager asking someone to “make hard copies” of a report for our next meeting. Instead of forwarding this to my secret lover with a cheeky response, I pressed “reply to all”- telling my whole team that I could make something else hard if they wanted. I still cringe about it to this day!” Sara M, 32, Marketing Executive.

“I had not long started my job as a project co-ordinator, when I really started hitting it off with a female co-worker. We were dating casually and, as these things do, word spread around the office. Little did I know that she had also dated my desk neighbour…for 2 years! Things got a little awkward after that.” Dillon S, 25, Project Co-ordinator.

“I was working in a very male-dominated field. I also had to work late quite often. This dangerous routine led me to kiss a married colleague one evening when everyone had gone home. Not wanting to be branded as a homewrecker, I didn’t pursue the relationship. My colleague on the other hand had other ideas, and he left his wife after realising the marriage wasn’t what he wanted. We didn’t end up dating, and he eventually got back together with his wife, but would constantly leave me notes and write messages detailing his undying love for me. I had to leave the company in the end.” Ceris M, 30, Car sales assistant.

“My wife wanted to get her career back on track after having our first child. There was a perfect role for her in my office, and I pulled a few strings so that she would get it. Spending so much time together eventually took its toll, she couldn’t handle working under me, and we both had very different ideas about how our jobs should be done. We ended up getting a divorce…But we still work together now!” Tim W, 41, Communications Manager.