Females: Do you ever wonder what men are thinking about you at work?
Men: Always wondering if other guys are having the same thoughts you are about your colleagues?
According to some psychological studies, we can now (kind of) answer those questions. According to polls, surveys, and interviews, there are some commonalities among the thoughts most men have about females in their workplace. The truth is, the data is not all that surprising. Men get attracted to, annoyed with, and competitive with their female counterparts at work… just like they do with females outside of the workplace.
And, if you’ve ever wondered if men and women can just be platonic friends, buckle your seatbelt. We’re about to uncover a rollercoaster of perspective on this very subject. From office friends, to affairs, and eventual marriages – we’ll look at all angles of male-female relationships in the workplace.
Let’s dive right in, shall we?
15. “I’m Going to Sleep with Her”
Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way first. Yes, research supports that men often fantasize about sleeping with their female coworkers. It could be because you’re smart, charming, funny, and beautiful, but there are additional factors at play here, too. Men often find their female coworkers especially attractive because they seem independent, successful, and competitive. You also likely spend a lot of your time at work speaking to other men, which can make them want you even more. Think you’re in the clear because you’re married? A recent study found that men were not affected by your current relationship study when considering sleeping with you.
14. “She Wants to Sleep with Me”
So, we know now that the men in your office have likely fantasized about having sex with you, but they don’t stop there! Nope, in fact, men polled were just as likely to report that their female coworkers want to sleep with them. In some instances, men polled revealed feeling like the females in their workplace wanted to sleep with them more than they wanted to sleep with the females. Research supports that one of the reasons women go without raises or promotions is because their boss thinks of them as a romantic prospect. In other words, your boss thinks you’re working hard to get under the sheets with him, not make more money.
13. “She Works Hard… to Get Laid”
I think we can all agree that men thinking about sex with coworkers so much is a bit disturbing, but it gets even darker. Research supports that one of the reasons women go without raises or promotions is because their boss thinks of them as a romantic prospect. In other words, your boss thinks you’re working hard to get under the sheets with him, not make more money. If you think you may be running into this issue at work, contact your human resources department. And, if you haven’t directly asked for a raise or promotion: Ask for one! Your boss is not going to offer you more money or better hours while he’s worried about looking up your skirt.
12. “Hope She Knows Going Out to Lunch Isn’t a Date”
Let’s look at the flipside of the coin now: Not every interaction with coworkers of the opposite sex is romantically charged. In fact, male coworkers can become anxious about asking a female coworker out to lunch or happy hour because he’s afraid it will be considered a date. The best way to avoid this trap is with open, honest communicated. Set boundaries early, don’t text late at night, email flirty messages, or blur the lines after a few too many cocktails. Once you set guidelines for your relationship, grabbing a sandwich or celebratory martini won’t make either of you blush.
11. “Her Boobs Look Great in that Dress”
Listen, I am in no way going to tell women to dress differently for work. I am firmly in the camp that women shouldn’t wear turtle necks and maxi skirts to avoid sexual glances from coworkers. Women should be able to dress as they wish (within company dress code policies and professionalism, etc.), but that doesn’t mean (unfortunately) that men won’t notice. Men will notice and talk about when women wear a cleavage-baring blouse or flattering skirt, but it’s their job to notice it and move on. Let’s hope these thoughts don’t take up too much of men’s workdays.
10. “Must be ‘That Time of the Month’ for Her”
Is there anything more irritating to women than men assuming she has her period? Probably not. Men seem to love guessing when women are on their periods based on their moods, eating habits, and bathroom visits… how romantic. If you’re a man and you think it might be “that time of the month” because your female coworker called you out on an error you made in a company-wide email… you might just want to spell check your work next time. The truth is, your female coworkers have likely been dealing with these natural hormonal fluctuations for years and years, and therefore it doesn’t affect their work productivity or cheerfulness to you whatsoever.
9. “That Supply Closet Could Fit Us Both”
Not only do men think about sleeping with their coworkers, they think about doing it right in the office itself. Maybe it’s a big desk, maybe it’s a bathroom, or a storage closet- chances are, the males in the office have thought about (ad maybe even discussed) the best place to do it at work. It’s not as crazy as it sounds, though. Studies show that men think about sex nineteen times a day, so it’s not that outlandish to think that once in awhile, one of those times will be thinking about doing it at work. Let’s just all keep that to a fantasy and not act out on it, no one wants to walk in on two coworkers getting frisky in the office kitchen while they’re grabbing lunch.
8. “I’m Always On Her Mind”
In general, men think women gossip more than them. Whether this is true in the workplace or not, I couldn’t really find an answer. I did, however, find that men often think that women spend a lot more time thinking about them (and talking about them) than is actually true. While women may be talking about, you know, work-related items at work, the males in the office are wondering how much gossip is about them. I’m being facetious here, but what I’m really saying is: There is no proof that women spend any percentage of time gossiping about male coworkers. However, despite this, men often think their female coworkers talk about them on a daily basis. I’m guessing it all goes back to thinking every woman wants to sleep with their coworkers…
7. “She Doesn’t Need a Raise… She’s Married”
Women: This one may be especially hard to hear. At this point, we should all be well-aware that we need to #closethegap because women make significantly less than their male counterparts in the workplace. With that in mind, let’s look at this interesting finding: Many American men still view husbands as the primary breadwinners for families. While this is insulting, it’s also financially hurting women. Because men in power view other males as the heads of households, they consider women as financially dependent on their husbands (and ex-husbands, in some cases), making them overlook women for raises and award them to the men. Aye aye aye.
6. “She’s Probably Sleeping with the Boss”
Unfortunately for women, when male coworkers see you doing well at work, they sometimes assume it’s because of ‘extracurricular’ activities. If an attractive woman just got a promotion or praised during a meeting, male coworkers can often go to the elementary thinking of: She must’ve given the boss a nice BJ last night. While women know this is not the case, it doesn’t stop men at the office for assuming their success comes from their sexual escapades… not education, experience, and performance. On the other hand, if your boss is promoting you due to flirting or hooking up, it may be time to consider a job transfer!
5. “She’ll Get It (Phone, Dishes, Etc.)”
Let’s talk about another thought male coworkers have about females: Assuming all females enjoy and should be responsible for cooking, cleaning, and keeping the kitchen in check. Males in the office may leave their dirty dishes in the sink, assuming the females of the office will clean it up and put it away. Or, males may let the office get messy, waiting for the females to vacuum and dust out of necessity eventually. Another chore men of the office assume women should do? Answering the phone. From being an on-call receptionist, dishwasher, and maid, it’s clear women can bare the bulk of the unrecognized office responsibilities.
4. “The Girls Will Take Care of the Food”
Oh, you thought the gender stereotypes ended with cleaning and answering the phone? How wrong you are. While the men of the office are typically the ones that love having food, cookies, and cocktails at company events and meetings… they don’t expect to make it happen. If you have a male boss who constantly asks the females in the office to organize, plan, and basically cater meetings, employee appreciation events, and birthdays… don’t think it’s because you bake the most amazing brownies… it’s because you’re a woman. Maybe it’s time for a big role reversal to see what the men would bring for office parties!
3. “She’s Too Beautiful to Be Here”
It’s common in movies or TV shows for beautiful women in the office to be idolized, lusted after, and despised by the less-attractive women. However, in real life, men don’t always feel warm feeling toward the most attractive woman at the water cooler. In fact, many men see being beautiful as a sign of “otherness.” Meaning, a noticeably beautiful woman shouldn’t work “like everyone else” because she is different. In other cases, men can assume that beautiful women are unqualified for their position and instead were hired for their looks. Either way, beautiful women in the office often don’t have it as good as the hot coworkers we see in Hollywood.
2. “She Should Smile More”
Whether you work in the service industry or a traditional office environment, women are, for some reason, often expected to smile. If every woman knew how many times her male coworkers had said she’d ‘be better’ if she smiled, they’d probably all roll their eyes and get very, very angry. Research does support that smiling promotes positive feelings not only about you, but also toward you, so the advice can be helpful… However, if the advice is only given to women, that’s when offices can run into poor company culture. Make sure any practical work advice is evenly distributed to the males and females!
1. “She Gets Special Treatment Because She’s a Mom”
It all begins with maternity leave. Because many American companies offer maternity leave, but not paternity leave, it’s founded for men to be frustrated with these unfair procedures. From being outraged at the amount of time she gets “off” after having a baby, to thinking she got special treatment during her pregnancy, men can get awfully jealous of new moms at the office. Once women are moms and have toddlers, kids in school, and kids with their own schedules, it’s not uncommon for women to miss some work to attend to their sick or busy children. It’s all part of the work-life balance. If men feel that women are getting unfair treatment due to their parenting responsibilities, they should consider how they can achieve more of a work/life balance in their own positions.
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