Dating in the workplace might be the last remaining romantic taboo, but that hasn’t stopped plenty of people from letting cupid reign in the cubicle.

A 2008 survey found almost half (46 per cent) of employees said they have been involved in an office romance and 13 per cent more said they hadn’t but were willing to date within their office.

Quick flings weren’t the only source of romance: Twenty per cent of respondents said they met their spouse or long-term significant other in the office.

Dating coach April Braswell, who works in California’s Silicon Valley and has plenty of experience matching up working singles, suggests attractions in the workplace are hardly surprising given that most people end up spending more time every day with co-workers than with anybody else.

“Work is where we spend at least eight-to-ten hours each day — you’re dressed well, freshly showered and usually energetic. It’s natural there’s going to be chemistry,” Braswell said.

High-profile figures are no less bitten by the love bug — as Bill and Melinda Gates both met in the workplace, as did Hollywood power couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

Of course, executives and other wealthy stars have an easier time navigating dating stigmas — for the rest of us Braswell does warn against dating within a smaller company of less than 30 employees, simply because privacy is almost impossible to maintain and fallout can be magnified if things go wrong.

“When you’re in a small-sized company it really is too close for comfort. It starts to be really awkward and you need to have enough professional breathing room,” Braswell said.

If you do start an office romance though, avoid letting it get out of hand.

“Go slowly so that people see you’re being professional and neither of you is using each other,” Braswell said.

Claude Balthazard, director of H.R. excellence at the Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario, agrees that staying professional is crucial not only to avoid a disruptive rumour mill but to make sure your relationship doesn’t distract from your work.

“If you keep it really low-key and it doesn’t really have an impact on your work, most companies won’t care,” he said.

Dating someone who you are directly responsible to can constitute a conflict of interest however, so be prepared to move departments or even companies if your romance breaks any corporate rules.

“Don’t have a meltdown. Business is complicated enough these days that it’s the last thing you need,” Balthazard said.