It's been a tough couple of years for singles out there. Now that the clock is ticking before cuffing season, many are back on the dating scene — especially during the workday.'
"After two years of remote work, many employees are being asked to head back — at least partially — to their desks, meaning a significant number of workers will lose some of the comfort they've become accustomed to while working from home," said Sheldon Bachan, Tinder U.S. brand communications manager. "Mid-day swiping is definitely one of these comforts."
Three out of 10 people admitted to swiping during a company meeting, according to a survey of 1,000 dating app users between the ages of 18 to 45 conducted by Tinder and Survey Monkey. A little under one-third — about 32 percent — have met up with potential mates during the work day while working from home. Sixty-eight percent also admit to firing up the dating apps while on the clock when working remotely.
The most common times to be on an app include lunch breaks and at the start of the day while checking email and having a morning coffee, although there's notable activity towards the end of the day and in the middle of the day in-between important calls.
In other words: People are looking for that special someone the whole day, even while filing reports and meeting projections.
Flirting While Working
"Almost half of people would rather match and chat with others on apps on company time than their own. It seems the potential to spark a new connection is the perfect respite during the workday," Bachan said. "In fact, 35 percent of Tinder members globally admitted they're mostly on Tinder when avoiding work."
Tinder is not the only company that has noticed a change. Going hybrid, rather than spending five days a week in the office, gives employees the opportunity to sneak off in the middle of the day, admits HR professional Amy Zimmerman, chief people officer at Relay Payments.
"I think people are loving being remote," she said. "People like the flexibility. They like the informality of rolling out of bed and starting their workday without the pomp and circumstance of getting dressed."
During the pandemic, people had to adjust their lives and realized that there can be some flexibility between work and regular life. Planning after-work activities or going to the gym happened on company time even before the pandemic, but employees are now more open about it, said Tinder's Bachan.
"Overall, we're seeing the lines between our personal and professional lives have blurred," he said.
It isn't necessarily a bad thing if it keeps employees happy and doesn't affect productivity.
"If you've got the right structures in place and you've got okay hours and you've got ways to measure output, it's not, in my opinion, it's not important if they're getting the work done," Relay Payments' Zimmerman said.
The rise in using office time to improve an employee's personal life may be due to another reason: People are fed up with swiping to meet someone who won't make it to long-term relationship status — or even past that night.
"A lot of people are frustrated with online dating in general," said Blaine Anderson, a dating coach for men and founder of Dating By Blaine. "If people are using their company time doing it, that tells me they don't want to waste their time. They'd rather use someone else's time."
She points out that when people are distracted because a boss may be lurking around the corner, they're not making dating a priority. Instead, she suggests taking advantage of the summer weather to go out and do something that interests them it's a better option than trying to sneak in a swipe between Slack messages.
"If you want to be meeting people at this time, look up from your phone, get up, and get out," Anderson said. "You should use online dating as your dessert. It shouldn't be the main focus of your meal."
This doesn't mean that online dating doesn't work, she pointed out, but app users should make sure their profiles reflect them. Selfies look good in isolation but don't necessarily reveal what a person is really into. Anderson suggests including a mix of pictures on a profile that shows what you like to do.
Tinder also has an Explore feature to help daters find people who have common interests, as well as interactive experiences like Swipe Night. The choose-your-own-adventure content series matched people based on their choices and led to a 26 percent increase in matches.
For those who don't want to get caught spending time looking for that dime, Tinder's desk mode gives you a quick option to hide the evidence. Clicking on the briefcase icon hides the desktop version of the app with a mock report, complete with an agenda, statistical analysis, and fake meeting recap notes.
"With the end of summer in sight and life slowly returning to normal, we wanted to give members a way to continue swiping confidently — and inconspicuously — at their desk," Tinder's Bachan said. "We've all had that heart-pounding moment when a pesky boss or chatty coworker appears over your shoulder mid-flirt."