The Nigerian workforce is progressively growing younger. A Nigerian Bureau of Statistics report indicates that from 2014 to 2017 Nigeria’s older labour force increased by 3.9m, while its younger workforce increased by 8.2m.
The rapid influx of young Nigerians into the country’s labour market implies that they spend an average of 40 -50 hours of their week in proximity with colleagues of the same age bracket who share similar interests, attractions, and values. This increases the likelihood of potential work romance.
Although there is hardly any statistic on work romance in Nigeria, comparatively in the United States over 50% of American workers surveyed said they have had a crush on a co-worker, while 27% have at one time or the other engaged in workplace romance.
In light of the #metoo movement which has helped shine a light on legal implications of improper work romances and also the recent explosive exposé written on two Nigerian Fintech outfits which featured among others, allegations of improper work romance, Burbles Media asked young Nigerians to share their views and experiences with work romance.
Here are some of their responses;
Bayo, M (Late 20s)
Office romance has its pros and cons, more cons than pros though. I would never advise anyone to get into it as it most likely breeds disrespect and can even become toxic.
I had a little thing with my female coworker on the low, she had a crush on me and we got intimate. Over time she overly became suspicious of my friendships with other female colleagues and against our initial agreement to be discreet she started telling others of our involvement as a way of marking her territory.
On my end, I denied all allegations and rumors till our situationship died a natural death.
Mike, M (Mid 20s)
I am not averse to work relationships, if the intentions are clear on both ends, what I am uncomfortable with is when there is an unfair power dynamic.
Not my story personally but a friend of mine started seeing her boss briefly in a short-lived romance and although things ended pretty amicably, she cannot stand it when she sees her boss with other females and feels possessive of him. I think she is still very attracted to her boss and this affects her performance and attitude to work to date.
Sheila, F (Mid 20s)
Work romance rarely works, it comes with a lot of restrictions and breeds office rivalry.
I once worked at an office where somebody in the management level and a lower cadre staff both had an interest in the same girl and she ended up going for the latter.
The situation was awkward for all parties involved as it bruised the management level staff’s ego and put the lower cadre staff in a compromising position. As for the girl, she has been on probation for almost a year because the management staff has wielded his influence to ensure she is not a permanent staff.
Ayo, M (Mid 20s)
This office love thing works for girls more than guys.
A girl started to work at my office two years after me as a personal assistant. She started going out with her married boss… let us just say she is a management level staff now.
Not to take anything of the young woman, she is quite smart but not that much of a whiz kid to go from PA to senior management position in just two years.
Uche, F, (26)
Office romance can be good or bad depending on your reality and your approach to it.
I can’t lie my boss at work has a crush on me. Sometimes I use his attraction to my advantage by getting favors at work here and there, nothing unethical though. The only issue is my coworkers who give me the side-eye here and there because of the favoritism.
*Names have been altered to protect the identity of our sources.