Do you have a work bestie who may be “more than a friend” but definitely not a romantic interest? The concept of having a “work spouse” has become increasingly popular in modern workplaces.
It’s a term coined for someone with whom you share a close bond and connection, similar to the way you would with a romantic partner, but without any romantic or sexual undertones.
It’s no secret that having someone who understands our work-life struggles can make all the difference in managing stress and being productive. This is why finding someone you genuinely trust and connect with in the workplace is important. A work spouse can provide a listening ear, give constructive feedback and advice, make you laugh when you’re working long hours, and even offer an encouraging word or two when the going gets rough.
This blog post will discuss the importance of having an office husband or wife and how to identify if you have found “the one” in your workplace. We’ll also dive into the benefits of having a “significant other” at work. Communication studies have shown that this special type of relationship can allow for increased motivation, improved focus on tasks, better time management skills, and enhanced connections with other colleagues.
Adventures With Your Work Spouse
Adventures From Scratch: Friends Edition is the perfect way to bond with your work spouse! Our books are jam-packed with mystery challenges and activities you can do together, in the office or out on an adventure. You’ll find tons of fun ideas that you can use to strengthen your connection and deepen your friendship. This adventure book is chock full of challenges and activities designed to let you explore, discover, and grow together.
What Exactly is a Work Spouse?
A work spouse is a co-worker with whom you have a close platonic relationship. This type of relationship often involves confiding in each other, going to lunch together, and being understanding and supportive of one another. It can be compared to a real marriage but without any romantic connection.
Work spouses often have deep respect for each other and can even work together to solve problems. These types of friendships are mutually beneficial, as they can help both people succeed professionally. This relationship is not only a great source of emotional support but can also provide valuable insight into the workplace and help you improve at your job. Having a go-to person who understands you and your day-to-day work gives you an even greater sense of comfort and security in the workplace.
Deep office friendships like these can be a great win for both parties involved and make going to work enjoyable. Such a relationship might take some time to develop, but it’s worth it in the end. The trust and camaraderie of having a work spouse can make a huge difference in job satisfaction and even help you progress professionally.
By forming a healthy, platonic relationship with someone in your workplace, you can find yourself feeling more fulfilled at work and be more successful overall. If you’re looking to form deeper connections with your colleagues and build meaningful partnerships, consider finding yourself a work spouse.
20 Signs You Have a Work Spouse
Having a work spouse can be a great source of support and understanding.
If you frequently find yourself having meaningful conversations with one of your colleagues, confiding in them about your work-related problems, or simply enjoying their company and sharing a laugh—you may have already found yourself a work spouse!
Here are 20 clear signs that you have a work spouse:
1. You confide in each other.
Is your work husband the person you go to when you’re having a bad day at the office? Do you feel safe sharing your work-related worries and anxieties with them? Sharing your concerns with one another is prime work hubby material.
2. Mutual respect between you is strong.
If you and your work wifey truly value each other’s opinions and treat each other with respect—both professionally and personally—then that’s a great sign of a work spouse. You should be able to rely on each other in the workplace, as well as be able to disagree without feeling uncomfortable.
3. Staying late to finish projects together isn’t a chore.
Nobody likes staying after hours, but maybe your best friend at the office makes it a little bit more bearable. If you two are willing to stay late together and help each other on projects, that’s a surefire sign of a deep bond.
4. They understand each other’s boundaries and respect them.
A true work spouse (and vice versa) will understand each other’s boundaries, both professional and personal, and respect them.
It’s important to have unspoken emotional intelligence about when it’s appropriate to talk about office-related topics, personal life, and when it’s time for a break. Respect is key in any relationship, especially one that involves the workplace.
5. You trust each other’s judgment and advice.
When you need a second pair of eyes on a project, you trust what they say as a professional.
6. Lunch dates are a regular occurrence.
You may have found your platonic soul mate if you’re always saving a seat for your work wife at the lunch table. Going to lunch or grabbing food together is a great way to build a working relationship.
7. There’s a mutual understanding of each other’s workloads.
Empathizing with your workload and offering support when needed is an important part of your dynamic. If you can relate to what they are going through, it’s a sign that you guys have a strong connection.
8. You help each other out with work tasks.
If you have to duck out early to pick your kid up from soccer practice, is your work spouse the one who offers to help you finish up your tasks? Do you return the favor when it’s their turn to leave early? If so, you have a great back-and-forth of support.
9. Their birthday is on your calendar.
10. Conversations tend to be more personal than professional.
If your conversations with a co-worker transcend just talking about the job and progress to more personal issues, you two likely have formed a close bond.
They are someone who listens to how your weekend was, know about your real spouse and romantic relationships, offers emotional support, and shares their own life experiences with you as well.
11. You know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
Your work spouse should be someone you can rely on and who knows your strengths and weaknesses as a professional. They should understand how to get the most out of you so you can both succeed.
Having a platonic friendship with someone in the office that understands your working style is invaluable and helps you perform to the best of your abilities.
12. It’s not unusual to receive a text from them.
Having each other’s personal contact information is a good sign that your relationship goes beyond just the workplace. You should be comfortable enough with each other to stay in touch after hours and exchange tips about work, home life, or even vacation spots.
13. There’s open communication regarding constructive criticism between one another.
Having an honest and open dialogue is essential for a strong working relationship. If you’re both open to constructive criticism and feedback, then this could be the sign of a true work spouse.
Knowing that you have someone who will give you their true opinion, even if you don’t agree with it all the time, is another important cornerstone of a successful work-life balance.
14. They’re the first person you share your successes (and failures) with.
If you can openly share your successes and failures with your work spouse and celebrate each other’s accomplishments, then you have a strong connection that will last for the long haul.
15. They know your coffee order.
Nothing says early mornings in the office like that first cup of coffee. If your work spouse knows your coffee order, then you know they’re a keeper.
(Pssst! Here’s a guide on where to find the best coffee in the world!)
16. You’ve developed inside jokes over the years.
Humor gets us through some of the toughest times. If you and your work spouse have been able to develop inside jokes over the years, it’s a reflection of understanding, trust, and comfort. It’s also a sign that no matter what comes up—the fun times will remain.
17. There’s a strong sense of trust.
Trust is an important cornerstone of a strong relationship, and it’s the same for work spouses. You should be able to tell your work spouse about any successes or issues that might come up in the office without worrying about them judging you or gossiping about it.
18. They know what your goals are, and you know theirs.
Having someone in the office who understands and supports your long-term goals. If you can talk openly about your dreams and ambitions with a work spouse, it means you’re on the right track.
19. You can disagree without too much tension.
Disagreeing is part of life, and conflicts will happen at the office. Still, it’s important to be able to talk about any issues without taking things personally or having too much tension. Being able to agree to say your piece and move on is a sign of a strong platonic office spouse.
20. Going into the office isn’t so bad when they’re there.
Having a strong friendship with your workmate makes getting up in the morning much easier! If you find yourself looking forward to going into the office because of this great friendship, then you know that it’s solid and lasting.
10 Challenges of Having a Work Spouse
Having a go-to co-worker can be a great way to find an ally at the office, but you must understand that there are also some potential challenges.
Read on to learn more about navigating the sometimes tricky waters of having a work spouse:
1. Workplace gossip and rumors can be difficult to manage.
Unfortunately, no matter how old we get, high-school-level drama can still happen. If you’re part of a close work relationship, you need to be delicate in managing any gossip once it starts flying.
2. Maintaining a strict boundary between work and personal life might be problematic.
Try to remember that while having a work spouse is great, there are still emotional boundaries that should be respected and enforced. Your primary focus should always be on doing your job well and keeping any conversations professional.
Having a close working relationship can make distinguishing between your job and personal life difficult. Be conscious that while you may be close friends with someone in the office, there’s still a line that should not be crossed.
3. Physical attraction could lead to romantic feelings, which could complicate the relationship.
It’s important to realize that having a work spouse shouldn’t lead to romantic feelings. If physical attraction or an emotional connection starts forming, it could complicate the relationship and even lead to awkward situations in the office.
4. It can be hard not to take things personally if you get a promotion or other recognition while the other doesn’t.
No matter how much trust and understanding there are between two people, it’s natural to feel a bit hurt if one of you gets promoted or recognized in the office and the other doesn’t.
Having empathy is essential here, but it can be hard not to take things personally.
5. Breaking up is hard: it can be tough to separate yourself from your work spouse once it’s time to move on.
We all know that at some point, a LinkedIn recruiter will find us and our time in the office will come to an end. While it’s hard to say goodbye to your work spouse, you must be able to separate yourself and move on without feeling too attached. Moving on can be difficult but necessary for both of you.
Are you considering walking away from office life? Here are some of the best jobs for people who love to travel.
6. Working together can lead to increased stress and competition.
Just like any relationship, when two people work closely together, it can be easy to start feeling competitive with one another. This can often lead to added stress in the workplace and even decreased productivity.
Each person must maintain their individual goals and projects while not letting any competitive feelings get in the way of their working relationship.
7. It can be challenging to maintain a balanced relationship when one person has more power than the other.
If there’s an imbalance in power—such as if one person has a higher level of authority than the other—it could take some trial and error to maintain a balanced relationship. This is especially true if the power imbalance leads to favoritism in the office.
8. Your real-life romantic partner could become jealous of your work-spouse relationship.
At the end of the day, we’re all human, and feelings of jealousy about your relationship with someone of the opposite sex can arise from time to time. If your partner is feeling jealous of the close relationship you have with someone at work, it’s essential to be open and honest about it.
Let your real-life partner know that you value your work-spouse relationship for its platonic qualities. Communication is key to any successful relationship, so make sure to take time to talk through things with your partner.
9. Think twice before confiding in your work spouse about something confidential.
As with any co-worker, it’s important to think twice before you share something confidential or sensitive with your work spouse.
Remember that although they may be a trusted colleague, they still work for the same organization and are your co-worker before friends.
10. Be mindful of office gossip and avoid participating in it with your work spouse.
Gossiping about co-workers or the company can be tempting, but it’s important to remember that your words come with consequences.
Be especially cautious of engaging in gossip or involving your work spouse. It’s better to stay focused on the tasks at hand and stay away from water cooler conversations. Additionally, be wary of typing anything on Slack that you wouldn’t say to their face.
Having a work spouse can be beneficial in many ways, but it’s important to remember that maintaining a healthy work marriage requires respect, trust, and communication. Therefore, it’s essential to keep the lines of communication open and stay mindful of potential power imbalances or awkward situations.
Try to find a balance between friendly conversation during your workday, yet set these chats aside once it’s time to get back to work. At the end of the day, your relationship with your work spouse should be a supportive and platonic one. With these tips in mind, you can help ensure that your relationship is successful!
Are you trying to deepen your relationship with your work friends? Check out this post on how to be a more supportive friend.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you find yourself confiding in a colleague, spending lots of time with them, and discussing non-work matters on a regular basis, it’s likely that you have developed a work-spouse relationship.
Having a work-spouse relationship can make going to the office more enjoyable. Work isn’t anyone’s favorite activity, and your work spouse can make getting out of bed a little easier.
Never say never, but technically you’re in a monogamous workplace relationship. This person is generally your working bestie, and you share a unique connection with them.