Looking to spice up your work day? Try ending emails to your colleagues with a ;).
Nearly 45 percent of women and 59 percent of men who got romantically involved with a co-worker say the romance started with an emoticon in an email or text message, according to a survey from dating site Whatsyourprice.com.
If you’re not in the market for an office hook-up, lay off the emoticons; 71 percent of women and 90 percent of men said that receiving a winky face indicates the possibility of romance or a first date.
But even though they might literally be sending the wrong message, the majority of both male and female workers say they use emoticons when communicating with their colleagues, according to the survey.
The feisty email communication may be one reason office romances are becoming commonplace among millennials. Nearly 85 percent of workers aged 18-29 say they would have a romantic relationship with a colleague, according to an April survey from Workplace Options. And even 40 percent of Generation Y workers say they would date their supervisors.
Oddly enough, that may actually be good news for businesses. Office romances can help employees be more engaged, according to Canada Business, and companies like Southwest Airlines and AT&T publicly support their employees dating.
Still, some workplace romances may be too awkward to boost productivity. Virgin CEO Richard Branson argued in a February Canada Business column that while some workplace couplings can be appropriate, bosses and employees shouldn’t date and workers should avoid dating others in their department.
Also on HuffPost:
Workers get so <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/08/workplace-stress-1-million-americans-skip-everyday_n_1332172.html" target="_hplink">stressed that 1 million elect not to show up each day</a> as a result.
Commuting Is Annoying, Unhealthy
Driving long distances twice a day can <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/timi-gustafson/daily-commute_b_1557381.html" target="_hplink">significantly increase the risk of weight problems, heart disease and lung disease</a>.
Have A Seat... All Day
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/24/sitting-at-work-why-its-dangerous-alternatives_n_1695618.html" target="_hplink">Sitting for 11 or more hours a day increases risk of death</a> by 40 percent.
This Might Be Cleaner Than Your Phone
Desk phones are often dirtier than the office toilet seat, since <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505125_162-57383856/why-your-office-phone-is-filthier-than-the-toilet/" target="_hplink">"people wipe it down all the time,"</a> according to microbiologist Charles Gerba, CBS News reports. By contrast, any surface with buttons including keyboards, elevators and phones can be very germy.
Blinded By The Light
Three-quarters of workers who use <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/08/workplace-stress-1-million-americans-skip-everyday_n_1332172.html" target="_hplink">computers suffer eye and vision problems</a>.
Lounging To Death
People with <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/08/workplace-stress-1-million-americans-skip-everyday_n_1332172.html" target="_hplink">sedentary jobs are twice as likely to die from heart disease</a>.
Sixty-five percent of American workers report being <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/01/09/britons-are-the-worlds-most-bullied-at-work_n_1193521.html" target="_hplink">bullied at the office</a>. Workplace abuse can also have a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/06/abusive-workplace-behavior-affects-home-life_n_1130521.html" target="_hplink">negative impact on family life</a>.
So Not Key
In terms of the amount of work it causes workers to miss, carpal tunnel syndrome -- caused by too much time at the keyboard -- is second among all diseases and illnesses, according to a <a href="http://www.umm.edu/patiented/articles/carpal_tunnel_syndrome_000034.htm#ixzz23XNK9LV1" target="_hplink">2007 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics</a>.
The Fridge Might Kill You
More than 40 percent of office refrigerators are cleaned only once a month, and <a href="http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_30/b4188077409752.htm?campaign_id=rss_topStories" target="_hplink">22 percent get a scrub down only once or twice a year</a>, <em>Businessweek</em> reports.
Fat And Unhappy
Workers who eat at their desk or while distracted often eat more, according to a study cited by the <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/juggle/2011/05/16/eating-while-working-can-make-you-fat/" target="_hplink"><em>Wall Street Journal</em></a>. Likewise, "<a href="http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.1001152" target="_hplink">unhealthy eating could legitimately be considered a new form of occupational hazard,"</a> a 2011 <em>PLoS Medicine</em> paper claims.
More For Less
Between 1979 and 2009, U.S. productivity increased by 80 percent. The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/18/wages-productivity-report_n_837814.html" target="_hplink">hourly wage of the median worker only went up by 10.1 percent</a> during that period. That's way less buck for your bang.
Swearing Helps, But Gets You In Trouble
Most <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/12/cities-where-workers-swear_n_1765823.html" target="_hplink">employers look down on employees for swearing</a> even though one <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/22/cussing-at-work-helps-you_n_1373098.html" target="_hplink">survey found it's helpful for boosting morale</a>.
No Weekend Fun
Changing <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/23/social-jet-lag-monday_n_1695215.html" target="_hplink">sleep patterns and other behavior associated with the weekend</a>, such as increased consumption of alcohol, can make workers sluggish through Wednesday, according to a recent study.