Office romance most likely to bloom for younger workers in survey.

In Japanese society, work is supposed to come before your private life. Taking care of your professional responsibilities and not leaving your coworkers high and dry are just part of being an adult, the common logic goes.

But for as much as Japan traditionally frowns on the idea of wriggling out of doing overtime because you’ve got a hot date, it’s pretty open-minded about romance blossoming in the workplace. Combine the lack of stigmas about finding love where you earn your pay with the amount of time Japanese people spend in the office, and romantic partners who met at work aren’t hard to find.

Case in point: Japanese media consulting company Biz Hits recently polled 1,000 people across Japan (274 men, 724 women, and two declining to specify), and found that the majority, 61 percent, had been romantically involved with someone from work.

Most of these relationships were sparked when the survey respondents were young, with 72 percent of those who’d become amorous with a coworker saying it happened during their 20s, 14 percent in their 30s, 10 percent in their teens, and two percent each in their 40s and 50s.

As for who they’d dated, the responses were:
1. Manager, boss, or senpai (someone working at the company longer than me) (212 responses)
2. Same-level coworker/someone who started working at the same time I did (203 responses)
3. Subordinate or kohai (someone working at the company for less time than me) (81 responses)
4. Someone from a different department (47 responses)
5. Part-time or temporary worker in my company (36 responses)
6. Part-time or temporary worker dispatched to my company (18 responses)
7. Someone from a supplier or affiliated company (14 responses)
8. Other (3 responses)

But while Japanese society generally doesn’t have a problem with workplace romances in principle, or after the fact, most such couples in Japan still strive to keep their relationship on the down-low if both members still work together. Japanese people in general don’t want to be the center of attention or topic of gossip at work, and some companies, even if they don’t have rules that outright prohibit romance between coworkers, will transfer one half of the couple to a different division if they’re known to be dating, just to prevent any potential conflicts of interest or accusations of preferential treatment.

Because of that, the survey participants said the most difficult part of a workplace romance is keeping other people from finding out they’re dating (387 responses), followed by having to divide their public and private personalities (77 responses), having to go to spend time at work together if they’re fighting about something privately (31 responses), and not being able to take time off at the same time, because both of them being out would leave the staff too short-handed (19 responses). Despite some unique difficulties, though, the workplace remains one of the most common places for people in Japan to meet their soul mate.

Source: @press
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Pakutaso
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[ Read in Japanese ]