The Jakarta Post
California-based job search engine Simply Hired says work spouses are 'colleagues you have a strong friendship with, who is the gender you're attracted to, and with whom you have a bond that resembles that of a married couple'. (Shutterstock/fizkes)
Research has shown that 50.2 percent of women and 44.4 percent of men have had a “work spouse”.
According to California-based job search engine Simply Hired, work spouses are "colleagues you have a strong friendship with, who is the gender you're attracted to, and with whom you have a bond that resembles that of a married couple”.
The company surveyed 1,001 full-time employees on numerous topics such as colleagues, work problems, projects, love life, home life and sex life.
The results showed that the most frequently discussed topic was other colleagues, and the topic least discussed was sex. With 78.3 percent, discussions of other colleagues surpassed work problems (75.8), projects (74.5), love life (56.9), home problems (51.2) and sex life (29.1).
With a positive relationship, a work spouse may help as a stress relief. As long as the relationship does not pass its boundaries as colleagues, a work spouse helps employees discuss work problems, colleagues and personal issues.
In the survey, 57 percent of men and 69 percent of women have had their work spouses introduced to their significant others. However, 21 percent admitted to having lied about their work spouses to their actual spouse.
Read also: Five ways to have a happy work life
"In that same vein, men were also more likely to fudge the truth about their relationship with their work spouse,” as quoted from a post by Simply Hired. "So, what might they be hiding? In some extreme cases, work spouse relationships can lead to full-blown emotional affairs, a transgression considered to be even worse than physical cheating by some."
A recurring problem of work spouses is the almost inevitable underlying attraction between employees and their work spouses. Men (84.4 percent) are more likely to be attracted to their work spouse than women (61.9 percent)
It is important that an employee handles their feelings properly, for it is not a bad thing to have close work relationships or feel an attraction toward somebody. However, it is never a bad idea to communicate with one’s significant other about the issue. In fact, a conversation should be held when there is a slight feeling of discomfort.
Due to the amount of time and effort invested to the office, having a colleague that is aware of the work situations can “actually add a lot of value to the at-work experience,” as stated by Simply Hired. "Forging positive relationships with co-workers, as long as they stay within policy-respecting boundaries, is essential to keeping things drama-free both at work and home."
Essentially, a work spouse can be beneficial to employees as long as the rules of the office and relationship are followed. (vit/wng)