For most people, work life can be long and boring. The prospect of bumping into your crush at the coffee machine can sometimes be the only thing that gets you through the day. Some of the world’s most famous couples met at work. Brad Pitt left his wife while working on a film with Angelina Jolie. Barack Obama managed to win the affections of Michelle, his mentor at a law firm. Ricky Gervais’ hit TV series The Office captivated millions with its long and tense office romance between salesman Tim and receptionist Dawn. Forget bumping into your soulmate at a bar, many of us are more interested in finding our partners in the stationery cupboard.
But a recent survey shows that our love affair with office romances might be coming to an end. Data published in The Sunday Times, collected by Stanford University in California, shows that just one in 10 Americans now meets their partner at work – half the proportion that did in the mid-1990s. While the number of couples meeting at work is going down, the number meeting online or through dating apps is increasing. Between 1995 and 2017, the proportion of American couples meeting ‘through or as co-workers’ fell from 19 to 11 per cent. In contrast, the proportion of couples meeting online rose from two to 39 per cent. British academics have found similar trends in the UK.