More than 94 percent of Czechs admit to, at one time or another, having flirted at work. Polls also suggest that often flirting turns into short-lived romances or extramarital affairs.
A new poll by the STEM/MARK agency suggests that a great majority of Czechs enjoys occasionally flirting at work and around a third of Czechs – 40 percent of men and 27 percent of women – admit to intimate relations.
The news website Novinky spoke to young professionals in the workplace with one with respondent outlining reasons why a fling at the office appeared so attractive: she described an attractive colleague as always well-dressed, fresh-smelling, in good spirits and humorous, while her husband, she said, perpetually spent his time in sweat pants lying on the couch at home.
Another described meeting the love of her life at work: they met at the firm, later married and eventually left the company.
One financial advisor told the news site team-building events, while seen as a cornerstone of intensifying office relations and cooperation, carried the risk of leading to extramarital affairs as people bonded more closely than intended. According to Novinky, the office or workplace is the ‘ideal’ place for romance or affairs simply based on the amount of time spent there: an average of 40.4 hours per week and often more.
Many employers, the news site adds, are fairly tolerant of in-office romances, and some Human Resources specialists see more positives than negatives: having a love interest at work can have an overall positive effect, at least while the relationship lasts. Those involved are likely to be more relaxed, cause less friction within the team as a whole, and even work harder or to press for better results.
There are potential downsides or even outright risks: an affair between a boss and a worker, where power can lead to abuse, bullying or sexual abuse can of course lead quickly to serious accusations and legal territory.
Even if it doesn’t, love between a colleague and a superior can have negative effects on the rest of the team: it can be demoralising, especially if forms of favouritism come to the fore.
Even a successful relationship, where both parties remain happy and on equal footing, can damage office relations if the couple fails to curb emotions or keep their affair or relationship at least a little under wraps. No one wants to witness a smooching session across the room getting out of hand between two colleagues, while trying to clear his or her “to do” list for the day.
If the relationship ends on a sour note, of course, the jilted party may also find it difficult to continue at the firm or vice-versa, leading to still more complications. More often than nought, one or the other former lovers will, sooner or later, seek employment elsewhere.