What does a football quarterback have in common with office romances? The incident of NFL superstar Brett Favre sending racy photographs to a reporter with his cellphone is representative of most workplaces today where new technology has made it easier for employees to kindle office romances discreetly. The proliferation of communications technology has created new ways to get business done, but also many more ways to accomplish some other, personal, tasks while at work. Subsequently, because of this, office relationships aren’t as taboo, and career threatening, as in the past.
The hardest thing about starting an office romance is doing it without anyone else knowing. During the days of relying on land line phones, Xerox machines or hand written notes, there was quite a paper trail. But with smartphones and readers, like the iPhone and iPad, company paramours can keep everything with them. No love notes left on desks, or left in the copier, for others to stumble upon. Instead, texts, pictures, art, music and just about anything else can be sent between devices.
But then there is always the necessity of trying to look busy. So when one co-worker wants to profess his or her love to another without leaving their desk or be seen clicking away on an iPhone, they have to be a little more tactful. That’s where the new versions of many email clients have come in handy. Google’s GMail, for example, has chat capability, along with video and phone applications. While it may seem like someone is cranking out the newest company white paper, they just may have been chatting all day with the person in the next cubicle.
Social media has a similar presence to email in the workplace these days. While businesses don’t like employee spending time on the site, they are so popular, and used by businesses themselves, that it’s nearly impossible to ban. And the technology happens to be a good way to start flirting.