Never thought I'd ask this but how true is the friend zone?

Never believe in it as it seems like an excuse, now I have this friend I work with; We enjoy each other's time together but we both seem reluctant to escalate it cause A. we work together and B. we were kinda friends before this and are even better friends now. And she's a good friend, but I really like her yet it just doesn't feel like the time. I would be risking it I know but feels better to move forward when we're both in a better place and just let friendly seeds grow for now

I have only had hookups with friends in the past, and that's not what I want with her at all. She's one of the only people in my life who goes out of her way to be around me and I don't want to lose that, but certainly would want to try for more later on.
Never thought I'd ask this but how true is the friend zone?
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