On average, a person spends 40 hours a week at the workplace. That is a considerable share of waking hours spent in the company of coworkers. This presents enough opportunities to feel attracted to each other.
Just being together for long hours and close and constant interaction create ideal settings to get drawn towards each other. Other important factors that play in favor of affinity between coworkers are similarities in their educational and socioeconomic backgrounds and ambitions and life goals.
When a group of single and ready to mingle people are brought together by circumstances, it is natural they get along well with each other, and sparks fly. Having numerous common points and shared goals can only add to the mix.
While some develop into lifelong friendships, relationships between coworkers are also not uncommon. Coworkers dating each other can make others wonder what is going on. Are they together or just being good friends?
Colleagues in a relationship may not be keen on revealing their relationship for their own reasons. They may want to wait and see whether it is serious enough to announce to the world. However, as their coworker, if you want to satisfy your curiosity, some signs can unveil the truth.
This article lists signs to look out for to know whether there is more than friendship between two coworkers.
7 clear signs of attraction between coworkers
1. They have only eyes for each other.
They are oblivious of the rest of the people present. Whether in a daily office setting or a more casual environment like an office party, you can always spot them together, mostly away from the rest of the crowd. It will make you wonder what they are discussing so much.
You can spot them in each other’s cubicles on the pretext of clarifying some office-related queries. You will find them talking to each other over the phone. If you were to listen to their conversation, chances are they are making small talk and not discussing office matters.
2. They make eye contact often.
When they are not alone and when their colleagues are present, they will find it difficult to carry on their private conversation even if they want to. They overcome this hurdle by learning to communicate with their eyes.
Regular people don’t make eye contact that often and even if they do, it doesn’t last for long. However, with colleagues who are in a relationship, their eyes linger on each other longer than usual and try to convey messages that they are otherwise unable to.
3. They convey messages through silent gestures.
This may be deliberate or unintentional but body language can reveal a lot more about people than what they intend. Whether during regular office hours or coffee/tea breaks or office parties, the way they react to each other is unmistakable.
Some common silent gestures used by coworkers in a relationship are:
- They smile at each other more than normal.
- They lean towards each other when they talk.
- They try to maintain eye contact even when they are far apart in a crowded room.
- They laugh a lot at inside jokes.
- They tend to finish each other’s conversations.
- They tend to casually place their hands on each other. An innocent touch or a gentle caress that may go unnoticed if you are not looking for it.
4. They have lunch together.
Colleagues go out to lunch now and then. But when this happens every day, you can be certain that something more than meets the eye is going on. And, if one of them is unable to make the rendezvous due to office commitments, you can notice the other bringing in lunch for them.
Going out to lunch together is a common pretext to spend more time with each other exclusively away from their colleagues. Some of them even take the pains to get out of the office separately at different times to hide their relationship.
5. They spend coffee/tea breaks with each other.
It is usual to see such couples getting coffee/tea and making a beeline to the other’s cabin. They may even bring special homemade treats which are not shared with other colleagues.
And, they often take extended coffee breaks as they are reluctant to part with each other. Even when others make passing comments or snide remarks, they try to disguise their time together with excuses like clarification and discussion.
6. They share meaningful smiles.
When they are attending official meetings or when they are in the company of other colleagues if they are unable to carry on private conversations, they give each other a special smile that conveys so much more than what others can understand.
Even as the presentations and updates are rambling on and others are getting restless and bored, couples like this remain oblivious to their surroundings and are engrossed in looking at each other and conveying messages through meaningful glances and smiles.
7. They arrive/leave work together.
They coordinate their work schedule to align their work hours. This way, they can spend the travel time to and from work together. They may try to pass it off as a carpool arrangement or concern about leaving a carbon footprint. But if they are living on opposite sides of the city, still coming and leaving together, it is a definite sign of them being a couple.
Some more signs of attraction between coworkers.
- They often tease each other.
- They give each other much more attention than others.
- They follow and comment on each other’s social media profiles.
- They seem to “accidentally” come across each other too often to be considered a coincidence.
- Even when they are talking to others, their eyes seem to be riveted on the other.
- When they are in the company of other colleagues, they seem to enjoy insider jokes and secret codes and gestures.
They may think they are being secretive and fooling others about their relationship but their connection is obvious to everyone else.
How to know if a coworker likes you?
There is often an underlying, unspoken attraction between coworkers. Even if you suspect a colleague has feelings for you, it can be tricky to know for sure without clear signs.
What if the attraction is one-sided? If a coworker is attracted to you, how can you be sure about it? It is not that difficult if you pay attention to subtle cues. The workplace flirting signs they give out are easy to detect if you know what to look for.
When a coworker has feelings for you, they single you out for special attention and treatment. They may go out of their way to talk to you or help you out.
When a coworker likes you, they try to show their interest without being obvious. This is because they are not sure of your response and don’t want to make things awkward. But the extra focus on you is a sign of their deeper feelings.
By paying attention to these small signs, you can tell if coworkers are interested in each other.
Here are some obvious coworker attraction signs.
- They are happy to see you.
- They seem to hover around you even if they have other pressing engagements.
- They are interested in playful banter, flirting, teasing, and jokes.
- They often lean towards you or come too close to you while talking.
- They are interested in knowing whether you are single and unattached.
- They compliment you on your looks, dress sense, and your personal choices.
- They find ways to be alone with you.
- They try to defend you and protect you.
- They try to solve your problems.
- They always try to sit next to you in meetings and parties.
- They try to connect with you on social media.
- They adjust their work schedule to suit yours.
Workplace affairs are often romanticized in movies and fiction. It is true that it has its advantages but be aware of its minuses.
Your professional image will take a beating if you get involved with a coworker. You may be seen as biased, flirtatious, unprofessional, and improper by others as well as your superiors and management. Whether your colleague ultimately ends up as your life partner or you part ways after a while, the reputation is going to tag along with you for a long long time.
Tempting as it may be, an affair with your coworker is a serious step in your professional life.