Face-to-face and even remotely, romance is part of professional life.
Work has always been a fertile ground for the development of romantic relationships . Even if it is much less sexy to send an ambiguous emoji than to exchange languorous glances at the coffee machine, love has survived telework linked to the health crisis.
The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), an American association of human resource management professionals, wanted to dig into this subject. Their February 2022 data suggests that workplace romances have even increased since the start of the pandemic. A third of the 550 Americans surveyed report having started or maintained a relationship with a colleague during the Covid-19 health crisis . An increase of 6% compared to the pre-pandemic period of 2019.
Although flirting or starting a relationship in the office often remains a taboo subject, 75% of employees surveyed say they see no harm in it. In reality, it is more from an HR point of view that this can pose a problem. Yet the romance between colleagues has existed for centuries. “Even going back to the industrial age, there is a discussion of people being drawn to each other in the same workplace,” says Amy Nicole Baker, a professor at the University of New Haven, in the States. -United.
Butterflies in the belly in the open space
While working at the same Chicago law firm, the Obamas began to form a strong couple that continues to this day. Data collected in the United States in 2017 shows that one in ten heterosexual couples formed at work. Given that the respondents were between the ages of 20 and 50 and spent four times as much time with co-workers as with friends, this result seems quite logical.
“As long as people are interacting together in a shared work environment, you see the basic mechanisms of human attraction happening ,” says Amy Nicole Baker. And this, whether the environment is physical or virtual.
According to Amie Gordon, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Michigan in the United States, the workplace has two key drivers of attraction . First of all, seeing a person daily makes you love him more. “The simple fact of seeing someone several times” can lead to attraction, she explains. Then, the fact that we like the person we work and flirt with is directly linked to the different points in common that you have. In addition to physical closeness, you can establish intellectual closeness.