Working in an office environment might be dull at times, although slow-moving meetings are sometimes enlivened by dramatic office politics. Chatting around the coffee machine orwater-cooler might relieve workplace boredom for some, but others have adifferent kind of relief in mind. The DailyMail recently reported on a survey run by BusinessInsider, which found that more than eighty percent of the survey’s respondents believed colleagues within the same company should be allowed to have sex.
While the majority seem to feel that shacking up with a co-worker is perfectly respectable, a considerable majority was nonetheless uncomfortable, however, with the idea of sex between managers and subordinates. Given the possibility of preferential treatment, notto mention the threat of sexual harassment cases, it is easy to see why sexual relationships between company bosses and their juniors are seen as off-limits.
One area where respondents also felt strongly was on the issue of disclosure, withmost feeling that workers should not be required to report sexual relationships between themselves and their co-workers to their companies. Even so, not all office romances are easy to hide. Playing footsy underneath theconference table might seem good fun to workplace lovers, until the boss’s ankle is given an accidental fondle.
Secret shenanigans in the workplace could easily arouse suspicion. Lovers who get their kicks from indulging in risqué fun while at work need to choose where they get offcarefully. Since there is high traffic around photocopiers, having a quick kissand cuddle in the copying room might not be a good idea. Most respondents tothe Business Insider survey did feel that office romances were acceptable only when handled with a certain amount of professionalism.
Sexual relationships between colleagues have often been portrayed as treacherous infilm. In the Demi Moore and Michael Douglas film Disclosure (1994), for example, Moore’s character uses false allegationsof sexual harassment against her ex-lover and colleague (played by Douglas) to jeopardizehis job. It is likely that most office romances are duller than this. Even so, theoften mundane atmosphere of offices hasn’t deterred amorous co-workers: thesurvey found that over sixty percent of people had either made advances on acolleague or had been hit on in the workplace themselves.
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