October 04 , 2016
Yashodhara Lal is a Bestselling Author , Working professional and Zumba instructor. Her newest book ‘When Love Finds You’ is available on pre-order here. Know more about her at yashodharalal.com or find her on Facebook or Twitter.
I may not have the latest statistics when it comes to love in the workplace, but since I married a guy who flirted with me in the office years ago (though he claims I started it) I guess I am a statistic. Living proof that the office is a natural environment for relationships to blossom.
Very natural. We spend more time there than anywhere else; it’s where we derive our sense of identity; it’s where we dress to impress; basically, it’s where we’re presenting our best selves, and working with other people in close quarters. Not to mention that it’s where we can get provoked, where passions are high and sparks arise – or maybe, on the other extreme, you’re so bored and disengaged, you need to make SOMETHING happen. Either way, it is the place to find love.
Well, that’s putting it sweetly. It’s ripe ground also for misunderstandings; unwelcome one-way attentions and out-and-out harassment; inappropriate flirtations, affairs, deceit, rumor-mongering, assumptions about how she’s getting to the top (or he: but yeah, almost always she) and a whole lot of other entirely avoidable messes.
But I prefer to look at the bright side, the stories that lead to the happily-ever-after. I was the boss of a young and enthusiastic team of twentysomethings. They worked hard, collaborated, fought, engaged at work, day and night. Out of that lot, not one, but two couples emerged who are now married and posting lovey-dovey pics on Facebook, looking like the perfect couples. And they wouldn’t have found each other if it weren’t for the workplace. I often sigh at their pictures ‘Awww…my babies!’ I marvelled that I never cottoned on to their affairs – I thought I was a sharp boss. They tell me I was dense to have missed the signs.
There are always signs. It’s the sizzling chemistry when you interact that’s not entirely invisible to those watching; it’s how much time you choose to spend together beyond what’s normally required for work; and oh yes, most tellingly, texting and whatsapping each other even when you’re in the same room. Depending on the type of company you’re working in, this kind of behavior could be frowned upon. Though now, generally folks seem less judgmental, as long as it’s consensual; not adversely affecting productivity, and as long as there aren’t reporting relationships involved because face it, that performance appraisal is not going to be objective.
All in all, it’s how life seems to be evolving. It’s a connected world, there’s a thinning of the dividing line between ‘work’ and ‘life’. If you’re single, it’s just another way in which you might end up meeting the one. If you’re committed, you’re still fair game as far as Cupid-at-the-Office is concerned, so don’t lose your head.
And yeah, watch out for those Whatsapp messages; one of which may pop up on your phone at the exact wrong time. It happened to Natasha, the badass boss in my new book.
It could happen to you – When Love Finds You.