Lifestyle

Office romances are booming: the surprising reason why

While the rest of the world was busy social distancing, co-workers Taina Morfin and Daniel De La Cruz were getting close. 

In January 2021, De La Cruz, 23, a clerical worker at a UPS warehouse in Riverside, Calif., got vaccinated and was able to remove his face mask at work. That’s when Morfin, 20, got to see his white teeth and sweet dimple for the first time. It was love at first sight.

“I remember saying to myself, ‘Ooh, my suspicions have been confirmed. He is cute,’” Morfin, who lives in Perris, Calif., told The Post.

A few months later, De La Cruz was tasked with training Morfin to take over his job so he could shift to working as a delivery driver. They were both in relationships with other people, but over the course of late night training sessions, it became apparent that they had a connection that ran deeper than parcel delivery.

Morfin immediately fell for De La Cruz after she saw his brilliant smile and cute dimple once he took his mask off at work.
Courtesy Taina Morfin and Daniel De La Cruz

“My goal was to never date someone at work,” said Morfin. “But he and I just hit it off so well. Things between us never felt awkward even though we work together.”

The duo started dating in August, and moved in together this past February. Mixing work and pleasure hasn’t been an issue.

“People think of us as the cool [dynamic] duo because we’re always helping each other out whenever we can,” said Morfin. “And our supervisors really appreciate the fact that we work so well together because we’re both able to get more accomplished during a shift.”

An unexpected side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a boom in workplace romance. A February 2022 study from the Society for Human Resource Management found that 33% of US workers are currently involved in or have been involved in a workplace romance, up from 27% in the months prior to the global health crisis. Meanwhile, 35% of white collar workers think returning to the office will improve their sex lives.

De La Cruz and Morfin have since moved in together, and enjoy working, living and relaxing with one another each day.
De La Cruz and Morfin have since moved in together, and enjoy working, living and relaxing with one another each day.
Courtesy Taina Morfin and Daniel De La Cruz

“People were experiencing a profound sense of loneliness during the COVID lockdown, and they may have found themselves connecting with their co-workers on a deeper level while communicating through Zoom or other technologies,” Manhattan relationship specialist Laura Young told The Post. “But now that people are going back to the office, they’re willing to further explore some of those relationships because they’ve established a sense of familiarity and vulnerability with a co-worker during their remote work period.”

And according to New York City employment attorney Kevin Mintzer, as long as neither partner holds a managerial role over the other, workplace love is usually fine.

“There’s nothing wrong with dating someone at work as long as it’s welcome and consensual,” Mintzer, who’s championed workers’ rights in Manhattan for over 25 years, told The Post. “If there’s no company policy that requires co-workers to disclose their relationship to HR, and neither party has any employment superiority over the other, then there’s no law that prohibits that relationship.”

White and Little began liking one another after a Christmas party in 2019, and continued to developing their relationship while they were forced to work remotely during the COVID lockdown in early 2020.
White and Little began liking one another after a Christmas party in 2019, and continued to develop their relationship while they were forced to work remotely during the COVID lockdown in early 2020.
Courtesy Dawn Little and Allen W

Even so, Allen White and Dawn Little initially kept their romance secret. After a flirtatious encounter at an office Christmas party in December 2019, the pair became inseparable, sneaking kisses in the elevator, grabbing lunch together and slipping away for afternoon coffees, all while keeping their affections from co-workers. Then the lockdown hit in March 2020 and squashed their budding romance.

“We didn’t get to see each other,” White, 23 and based in Leeds, told The Post. “But we were able to keep in touch through FaceTime and Zooms.”

In October 2020, their offices reopened, and the pair soon opened up about their relationship to colleagues.

“We keep our work life and love life as separate as possible, but since we’ve returned to office, we don’t hide the fact that we’re together,” said White. 

“We’re like best friends at work, and boyfriend and girlfriend outside of work,” added Little.

Source: NY Post

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