HR Strange But True!
August 01, 2008

It's good that employers are trying to help workers with high gas prices by offering telecommuting and initiating carpools. The down side to this, says Yvonne K. Fulbright, is that these practices are hurting the chances for developing workplace romances!

Writing on, Fulbright says that the workplace has become a main source for romance and meeting a mate because it "inadvertently invites opportunities for intimacy" because colleagues spend long hours together and learn about one another in a nonthreatening process.

In fact, according to the article, a recent survey by found that 46 percent of respondents have had an office romance, and a CareerBuilder survey found that 34 percent of respondents had married a co-worker.

However, while increasing opportunities to telework, spawned by $4 per gallon gas, have saved money for singles on commuting, their "at-home status" may also kill their love lives by lessening their chances to meet potential partners. Telecommuters can't go out to lunch, hit the birthday party in the breakroom, or hang out at the coffee machine--all prime places to flirt.

Being off-site also limits the ability to make plans with co-workers for weekends or Friday nights, further lessening the opportunities to meet people.

And the worst threat, emphasizes Fulbright, is that while on-site employees can dress and groom to create an attractive image, teleworkers can turn into "sloths" who develop bad habits for singles "that can hurt one's game," such as wearing sweats and not buying flattering clothes or not getting their hairstyle updated. Unfortunately, single telecommuters can just get out of the romance mindset.

Is carpooling more conducive to romance? Yes and no. Sure, carpools are great if there are some "possibles" in the pool or married colleagues who may have friends. A downer is a group of passengers old enough to be your parents.

Another negative to carpooling, according to Fulbright, is the loss of spontaneity that was taken for granted. You can't just go to a spur-of-the-moment "happy hour" like you used to unless you can get a ride home or can take a bus.

To remedy the situation for teleworkers and co-workers, Fulbright suggests spending the money on gas to attend work functions, company picnics, and post-work get-togethers when possible. Also, these employees should broaden their pool of potentials by volunteering, hanging out at bookstores and the park, and taking public transportation.

Fulbright hopes that office romances "won't take a nosedive like the economy," because most people prefer meeting someone at work to blind dates and online dating sites. It just may take some "work" for employees to keep their love life alive.

Source: Fox News

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