Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Office Romance: Good for Married Knowledge Workers, Bad for Cheating Corporate Types?

Bloomberg.com has an interesting article by Spencer Morgan on how lawsuits are driving down office romance. Faced with ex-lovers filing retaliation suits, and co-workers of the boss' lover charging favoritism, some companies are establishing, and enforcing, no-fraternization policies.

On the other hand, other companies think that couples who work together are a good thing. They are more engaged in the company and are less likely to miss work.

Two things struck me about this article.

First, the author made no distinction between marriage, and the courtship that leads to marriage, on the one hand, and adulterous affairs on the other. I expect that married co-workers are good for a business, whereas cheating co-workers are very bad for office functioning.

Second, the list of companies that were in favor of office couples has a strong knowledge-class tilt: National Public Radio, Princeton Review, Pixar, and Southwest Airlines.


Anonymous said...


I'm curious why, in the title to your post, knowledge workers are described in a favorable way, while "corporate types" (such as myself) are described as "cheating"?

I realize this isn't a deeply serious post, but it struck me as a little odd.

Gruntled said...

I am compressing two distinctions: married vs. cheating, and organizations rich in knowledge class jobs, vs. organizations rich in corporate management jobs. I was struck in the article by which class fraction the pro-fraternization organizations drew from (that is, the former).

The article does not distinguish between marriage and adultery, which is a flaw in their reporting. I infer that the pro-fraternization organizations are expecting their couples to be permanently bound.