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Workplace Trends: eHarmony For the Workplace?

Online dating is the scourge of the dating world, so why can't we use similar algorithms to assess our compatibility with our co-workers? Well, now we can!

Thanks to a soon-to-be-launched website called Tidepool, co-workers who have zero privacy thanks to open work environments can see if they're truly MFEO (made for each other). What's your sign, baby? I'm a Pisces! According to a Forbes article, the chief scientist behind eHarmony, Dr. Galen Buckwalter, wants to make our work personalities work well together. Tidepool offers a "visual assessment" that's different from the Myers-Briggs test or the SAT so we can finally talk right down to Earth in a language that everybody here can easily understand. Good, because filling in ovals completely with a dull No. 2 pencil can get sort of tricky.

Buckwalter claims that there are 60 types of workplace personalities ranging from the "Freeverse Poet" to "the Maverick." Personally, I've always relied on the "81 Types Of Employees" graph from Matt Groening's self-published comic book Work Is Hell, which features work personalities ranging from "The Smiling Backstabber" to "The Tyrannical Pipsqueak." This simple graph helped me survive more than one soul-sucking job back in my youth. Hey, if someone can get away with writing a best-selling business book called Who Moved My Cheese, why not rely on a mid-1980s comic book for trendy management advice? It's as good as anything else these days, because most modern business books are useless.

My question is: What if a Tidepool assessment reveals that two employees, although they manage to co-exist peacefully on the job, are completely incompatible? Then what? In a small company, employees have no choice but to work together, all the time. Even more, could some clever employees find a way to use Tidepool's data as an excuse to relocate to better projects and the window with the better view? See, boss! I totally can't work with that guy. May I sit behind the potted plant instead? Hmm. While these "visual assessments" could be enlightening, managers will need to ponder the pros and cons. I wonder what Akbar and Jeff would say.


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