Employers that provide staff with access to social networking sites at work
could unknowingly be giving them the tools they need to flirt or start an
affair with a fellow colleague.
While access to sites like Facebook and Twitter, might be considered
as a ‘fringe’ workplace perk, when their usage is combined with ever-longer
working hours, employees have both the time and resources to conjure up a
steamy office romance.
According to research, conducted by polling agency OpinionWay for law
publishers Tissot Editions, one in three French employees claim to have had
a workplace romance, and one in 10 respondents used the internet in office
hours to flirt. Out of those employees who admitted to having a workplace
encounter, 63% described it as a fleeting affair.
In instances when the affair lasted, only 17% of those who had hooked up
were happy to go public with it at work, while 22% kept it quiet and 6% quit
their job due to a conflict of interest.
The poll also acknowledged a trend across the developed world that many
employees meet long-term partners in the office due to working longer hours. Internet availability and social media sites made it possible to flirt
online at work.
Ronan Chastellier, a sociologist who presented the survey, said: “Workplace
life has long been considered a neutral zone, out of bounds to feelings of
love. Frankly, it’s more like a bar or a nightclub, a place that helps
people meet up.”