Helaine Olen's new book Office Mate: The Employee Manual for Finding – and Managing – True Love on the Job, co-written with Stephanie Losee, was recently called “The Rules for the office” by The New York Times. It has been written about in numerous newspapers, talked about on radio shows across the country, named a Reuters Business Book of the Week. Moreover Office Mate has been prominently featured on AOL, where Olen and Losee are Love and Sex Coaches.
While office romance has long been thought of as taboo, Office Mate lays out a persuasive case for finding love on the job. With about 50% of all workers dating someone they met at work at least once, the book argues that the workplace has become the village of the 21st century, the place where we earn our livelihoods, make our friends and, yes, meet our mates. The book takes on the etiquette of dating on the job, discusses the ethics of various office dating situation and offers rundowns of some famous – and infamous -- high profile relationships that started in the workplace. One example getting much attention right now: Barack and Michelle Obama. Office Mate also tackles the concept of the “office spouse.”
Olen has worked as a freelance writer and journalist for more than a decade, covering lifestyle issues ranging from career and workplace guidance to personal finance and parenting practices. Her other work has appeared in numerous national publications and websites, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and Salon.com, where she regularly conducts interviews with non-fiction book authors on subjects ranging from marriage to childrearing. She was a lead writer and editor for The Los Angeles Times’ “Money Makeover” series, a weekly feature devoted to giving investing advice while examining the hopes and fears of its subjects. She promoted the feature on radio and at financial conferences. She was also a “Career Strategies” columnist for (the late) Working Woman Magazine.
Olen frequently writes about parenting, most famously for The New York Times’ “Modern Love” column where her infamous contribution “The New Nanny Diaries are Online” set off a firestorm of Internet chatter, with bloggers debating her decision to fire a blogging nanny – and then write about it. The piece was subsequently anthologized in MODERN LOVE: 50 True and Extraordinary Tales of Desire, Deceit, and Devotion. Other childrearing pieces have appeared everywhere from Cookie Magazine and Babble.com to The Washington Post, where an op-ed on the inappropriateness of skills classes for infants and toddlers was widely syndicated. She originally became interested in the topic when she covered several school districts in suburban Orange County for The Los Angeles Times. Olen also teaches a class on writing about family for Mediabistro.com.
Olen is a graduate of Smith College and attended journalism school at the University of Minnesota. She lives just outside of New York City with her husband and two sons. Follow Olen on Twitter @HelaineOlen.
The $900 Baby Stroller Is Not Dead
The Big Money [October 8, 2009]
Office Mate: The Employee Handbook for Finding – and Managing – Romance on the Job (co-authored with Stephanie Losee)
Adams Publishing [Fall 2007]