Japan Today

Japanese employees show almost unanimous support for in-office romances: survey

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

It’s no secret that people in Japan take their jobs very seriously. But while there’s a general expectation that professionals will prioritize work over their social lives, Japan is also incredibly accepting of in-office romances.

Highlighting this are the results of a recent survey by Media Care Life Insurance in which researchers polled a total of 1,000 participants, split into two groups. The first, referred to as the “new employees,” was made up of 500 people from across the country between the ages of 20 and 29 who’ve been working in their companies for five years or less, while the second group, the “veterans,” consisted of 500 people between the ages of 40 and 59 who’ve been with their present employer for 15 years or more.

When asked if they thought romances between coworkers are acceptable, the overwhelming majority said they see nothing wrong with such couplings. Provided the relationship isn’t affecting their work or ability to interact with other coworkers, 85.6 percent of the new employees said an office romance is OK, and the figure rose even higher, to 89.4 percent, among the veterans.

It’s worth pointing out, though, that Japanese coworkers who’re dating tend to be very discreet, and generally refrain from open shows of affection in front of the rest of the office.

As for how many had dated a coworker themselves, roughly one in four (24 percent) of the younger group said they’ve done so, as did 43.6 percent of the veterans. Whether that’s a product of the older workers getting gradually closer to a special coworker as they spend years working side by side, or simply a result of other opportunities to meet singles drying up as people get older isn’t something the researchers pursued.

In a bit of a statistical anomaly, the percentages of respondents with positive feelings about marrying a coworker were even higher than those agreeable to dating one. 87.8 percent of the new employees and 91.6 percent of the veterans said tying the knot with a coworker is fine, with the increased acceptance most likely a result of some people saying they weren’t in favor of “dating” a coworker because they were thinking of a lighthearted fling, as opposed to an earnest courtship.

However, even though the idea of marrying a coworker receive almost unanimous support, that doesn’t mean everyone is onboard with the idea of the couple continuing to work together after their wedding. 16.8 percent of the younger employees, plus 22.6 of the older ones, said it wouldn’t be a good idea for both halves a married couple to keep occupying the exact same workplace, implying that once they’re ready to take the step from boyfriend and girlfriend to husband and wife, one of them should also be ready to leave the company, or at least the department.

Source: Medical Care Life Insurance

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Survey asks Japanese women if they could date a man who earns less money than they do

-- Japanese women sound off on the line separating a male friend and a boyfriend

-- Five ways to piss off your older Japanese coworkers at a new job

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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If I were single, I don't think I could do an office romance.  I see those people 8 to 9 hours a day for 5 or 6 days a week.  Why would I want to see someone on my free time after that?  Additionally, when I leave work, I do just that, I leave it, and don't care to be reminded of it at home.  Dating someone outside of the office, you could get a new perspective on how things are done elsewhere, plus talking about it with your partner is a lot better than going over office gossip with someone who already works there.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@Alphaape -  I don't think I could do an office romance. I see those people 8 to 9 hours a day for 5 or 6 days a week.

You have miscalculated. This is Japan. These people are spending upwards of 16 hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week together. Many employees have no life outside their jobs, so the only chance they have for romance is in the office. I used to teach the air traffic controllers at Narita airport. They have similar shifts to Japanese police. They live at the airport for a week doing rotating shifts. Of the 24 air traffic controllers half of them were married couples who met at their job. These office romances have nothing to do with choice. It's all about circumstance and opportunity.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Disillusioned - 100% correct.

People have very few opportunities to meet anyone outside work.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Wow that photo equal sexual harassment

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Exactly, there's a few married couples in my workplace, who are working in different departments. Also, I've fell in love one of my coworkers recently, who is 2 maybe 3 years older. However, I haven't declared my love to her, or rather I've even missed the chances of talking with each other. So, I will support for office romances, but in case of me, it might have something to do with me. I'll work hard.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

No matter how tempting, it's best avoided, gents. One slip up to piss her off in the relationship and you'll be getting a very nasty summons from HR. Don't screw the crew.

Maybe if she's a contract employee though.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Buddy of mine works in HR and took liberties with another married employee in one of the conference rooms that locked at 3 pm on a business day,,, IT CAN BE DONE!

that sounds... Reckless

4 ( +5 / -1 )

As a couple of other posters said, workplace sin Japan become a primary social community and environment, and people working in them seem pretty aware of it.

People in these workplaces might have no problems with 'office romance' occurring but when it comes to their turn of course the number of questions, ethical and other (eg. is the other person 'nice' or not?), a person's view can change radically and pretty quickly.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I have had many relationships with my co-workers and they have all be fruitful experiences. I don't think there is anything negative to say about it and would encourage others to pursue an office relationship.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The idea of spending any more time than I need to with my coworkers revolts me.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The idea of spending any more time than I need to with my coworkers revolts me.

I feel sorry for people that hate their job and I feel lucky that I love mine.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Nothing wrong with that, we live in the office, not only work there. For single Japanese guys and gals home is quite a lonely place where they come to sleep for a few hours, so the office space becomes a place where they really live, communicate with people and feel more fulfilled. Married employees should be encouraged to work from home to have a better work-life balance.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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