I am in favor of office romances, you know, love between fellow employees.
Now, that statement is almost kind of taboo in this capitalist world frantic with competition and productivity issues. For me, however, office romances are like those unexplored theories regarding human feelings and their role and place in the modern world. It’s like that long-held belief about gay men not being effective in the military because their insufficiently macho sexuality might prove harmful to national defense. Modernity has this curious obsession with objectivity disguised as promotion of science, but in many ways, it’s just one more tool for alienation and preservation of the status quo.
Feelings are not welcome in the public space. People have to hide them inside their rooms, so this world would supposedly run more smoothly.
I think modernity has this crazy duality or contradiction. On the one hand, it promotes customization and freedom of self-expression, but on the other hand, because of the capitalistic machine that is its main economic driving force, “consumers” are forced to push all that creativity and honesty into relatively cramped spaces called “private lives.” When they wear those uniforms, they become faceless once again. As workers, they lose their identities in order to sell better identities to others. A sales clerk may be the same as any other sales clerk in a cosmetics stall, but she can offer you some makeup products so, as a customer, you can be who you want to be.
I believe that office romances have very positive effects in terms of productivity. I know because I live such a life and I’m very happy. Critics might say, “Well, you’re happy that’s why your productivity is unaffected, but what happens when your relationship suddenly turns sour?”
Well, that again is a biased interpretation of feelings and their effects in the workplace. It’s as if before office romances, employees have been working like robots devoid of feelings. That’s bullsh*t. Every employee has subjective, personal motives for working. Now and then, those personal motives flood the workspace and they express their unique humanity through them. That is why you have coworkers that are rebels, coworkers who are hopeless romantics, coworkers who are outspoken gays and lesbians. You know these people for who they are because they’ve always been — now and then — honest in the workplace.
Given this fact that no worker is absolutely faceless and devoid of identity in the workplace, why do many people look down on employees in love with each other? Isn’t love just another expression of identity that surfaces every now and then?
One assumption is that you will be less inspired to do work because your main focus is to cuddle your officemate. Isn’t that absurd? Why not assume that you will be more inspired to work your ass off because you want to prove that you’re a decent, hardworking man to your officemate? Isn’t that a fair assumption, too?
There are many ways to avoid potential productive issues and I outlined them in one article for LifeHackery. I believe that once capitalism becomes more open to the idea that self-expression breeds more productivity, it will realize that affection between employees is generally not harmful to work.
It’s all a matter of productive forces breaking out of relations of production, like old-school Marxism. Productivity will speak for itself. Capitalism cannot remain this way forever. Workers will soon be free in the workplace just as they are in their bedrooms, and society will enjoy more goods, this time, more sincerely produced from the heart.
Dedicated to cool folks. 😀