Why office romance will always blossom
Love will always prevail. Even in the office. Even in the context of hybrid and remote working. And even to a backdrop of a million reasons why it’s almost always a bad idea. For enlightenment on the reasons behind this most inevitable of office behaviours, please read a fascinating article from the BBC, or skip straight to our summary below.
– The workplace offers two key conditions for love to blossom – intimacy and familiarity. Seeing someone regularly is often enough on its own to produce attraction. Consistent exposure and interaction consolidate this preference – AKA the ‘mere exposure effect.’ Considering how much time we spend at work, fireworks and chemistry are arguably all but a foregone conclusion.
– Familiarity bias isn’t limited by physical proximity. Referring also to emotional and intellectual proximity, virtual interactions build preference just as effectively as their in-person equivalents. This is why office romance has survived in the remote-work era.
– People’s preference for those similar to themselves also plays a role. When you share the same values, role or training, you’re more likely to develop a liking for and understanding of someone.
– When people need to resolve a problem or a challenging situation together, intimacy flourishes. Navigating difficulties with colleagues build on that sense of togetherness, creating the ideal conditions for feelings of love to bud.
– Office romance is all very well (sort of!) as long as things are going smoothly. But not all workplace romances have fairytale endings. Many of them end in awkwardness (for those involved and their teams) when feelings go sour. Much more serious than that, they can even result in sexual harassment claims and hostile work environments.
– So if you’re considering entering into a romantic relationship with one of your colleagues, proceed with caution. You should talk to HR about it, particularly if it involves your boss or subordinate. And do so in the early stages of your relationship. The longer you wait to disclose your budding romance, the more others are likely to feel that they have been duped or cheated in some way.
If you’re an office lovebird and would appreciate some advice on how to manage your romantic relationship, please read our blog article, The six rules of office romance. And whatever the shape of your romantic situation – inside and outside the office – ABL Recruitment wishes you a Happy Valentine’s Day! Enjoy!