The decline of the office romance

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THEIR EYES met across the office photocopier. At long last, each of them had found someone who could push their buttons. Eventually, they settled down and decided to reproduce. Read more in “Fifty Sheets of Grey Paper”, out soon in paperback.

Romance is a long-established side-effect of office life. After all, people may spend almost half their waking hours at work, and their colleagues will frequently have something in common with them, even if it is only complaining about the manager. Some relationships are inevitably bound to result.

But the lockdown has made the forming of new romances much more difficult. Although online dating has thrived in the pandemic, the number of people who have met their soulmate via a work Zoom meeting must be vanishingly small. It is hard to flirt while your facial expressions are being observed by a dozen colleagues. And how private is company videoconferencing software’s private-chat function, really?

Even before the...



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