Lots of people meet at work, and as we’ve told you before, as many as a third of those romances end in marriage. But there’s no reason to deliberately bring office technology or Slackbots into the mix to kickstart worker hearts when booze has been working perfectly well since the dawn of the office. Not that Feeld, the gender-fluid dating app that used to be called 3ndr, agrees with us. It’s offering Slack integration by way of a bot that lets workers express an office crush, and then reveals them to each other if its mutual.
Let’s now sit back and count the ways in which this will crash and burn…
First, the good parts: There’s nothing better than an office crush that turns into an office romance and then perhaps, a lasting relationship.
Okay, that’s the only good part.
The rest is terrible. There’s nothing worse than confessing your feelings for a coworker and either having them rebuke you, or worse, hooking up, realizing it’s a bust and spending the rest of your work days pining miserably or awkwardly, or dodging someone else’s miserable, awkward pining.
Yes, these things happen anyway — holiday parties and boozy post-work drinks are where confessions come tumbling out anyway — and this is the risk we take in modern work life. And even Feeld acknowledges that such declarations require consent, open-mindedness and non-dick behavior.
Still, what company in their right mind would ever encourage Slack confessions, particularly when most companies discourage interoffice dating (particularly if it’s an employee/boss situation) in the first place, and most companies ban the use of workplace technology for personal communication. We know workers use Slack, email and Gchat (RIP) already for wayward purposes, some more innocuous than others. But everything about this seems like bad news.
To find out if our instincts are correct, we asked our go-to HR guru Terry Petracca to red-team this terrible idea, and she gave us four major red flags this Feeld/Slack integration brings up:
Productivity. People wasting time checking to see if they’ve been ‘crushed’ and then carrying on their flirtation on company time.
Liability. Company Slack can be subpoenaed, so imagine if there’s litigation that arises from stalking, etc.
Competition. There’s so much detritus on Slack now, with stupid GIFs and such; imagine the competitive nature of Slack for internal flirting. And hey, what if a bunch of folks all ‘crush’ the same person? Will the company host a ‘bachelor/bachelorette’ segment for their employees?
Hooking Up. It’s bad form for the company to be seen as procurers.
“Yes,” Petracca concedes, “employees frequently find their soulmates or bedmates at work, but integrating with Slack at work moves the company directly into a dangerous place, as if they’re sponsoring a hookup service.” Her advice? “If you want to integrate Slack with anything useful, how about with an auto-wake-up call so you can arrive at work when you’re supposed to.”
Indeed. Besides, the human folly of attempted romance will play out every single day in every office in the world anyway, but workers don’t need any help whatsoever mucking it up ourselves. We’ve been doing just fine on our own.