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What Taboo?

Catching your employees making goo-goo eyes at each other--even at you? Office romance is on the rise and, believe it or not, most say there's nothing wrong with that.

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This story appears in the October 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Lately, dating within the office has become more common among co-workers. The pattern appears to have been influenced by the juggernaut dotcom industry, where tons of young start-ups have cultivated a new, easygoing and more liberal company culture. What was not long ago deemed taboo is now tolerated and, in some cases, even encouraged. But will this open-minded approach to office dating progress to a higher level, with entrepreneurs courting employees?

Take, for instance, Microsoft magnate Bill Gates. There's much to be said when the planet's wealthiest man weds someone on his payroll. Sure, Melinda Gates never worked directly with her hubby, but the rule of not getting your bread where you get your meat still applies in this case, especially with the stigma of Monica Lewinsky and Anita Hill embedded in office folklore.

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