As tremendously social creatures who rely on cooperation with others for survival, it may come as a surprise that humans are still figuring out new ways and places to connect with each other.
According to a survey report released by Corporate Staffing Services on Monday 10th February 2020, 64.1% of employees have been in or are currently in a work spouse relationship. Additionally, 23.3% of HR managers indicated that it’s healthy for employees to have a work spouse.
A work spouse is defined as a colleague of the opposite gender with whom one has a strong friendship with and who meets one’s emotional needs in the workplace. They offer a close connection, support and advice on both work and personal issues. The relationship is ideally platonic.
Here is why your success at work could be dependent on your work spouse:
1. Work spouses make the difficult days a little bit easier
Whether the trouble starts at home or at work, having a supportive work spouse can make all the difference when it comes to turning a rough day into a productive one. It’s easy to waste time and energy stewing about something in your head, but getting issues off your chest can be a productive way to process negative emotions. Basically, the empathy and emotional support offered by a work spouse allows for a safe place to vent which helps keep the mind primed for success.
“Many are the times I felt the urge to resign due to intense work pressure but he kept on motivating and mentoring me,” shared one respondent.
2. Companionship is something to look forward to
The 8-5 working environment isn’t usually something that has employees leaping excitedly from bed each morning — no matter the job, it won’t be exciting each and every day. When there’s a lull in excitement, the prospect of seeing and interacting with a close friend can serve as motivation to be present and engaged. Those who don’t have a significant work spouse, however, may find it more difficult to persevere when the days seem long or they’re particularly bogged down.
3. Two minds are better than one
Often, work spouses have complementary working styles which can make it easy for them to bounce ideas off one another and develop creative solutions in the workplace that might not come so easily to a ‘single’ employee. Sometimes, it’s these creative solutions that can turn a mediocre employee into a standout contributor.
“The relationship was of great impact. I gained experience and skills ranging from work relations and ethics, problem-solving, stress management, growth mindset, Communication among other things,” revealed another respondent.
4. Happiness = success
Research has long shown that people who have friends at work are generally more engaged with their job and happier overall, and the respondents on the work spouse survey showed that having a work spouse can take this happiness to a new level. Happier, more content employees will be more likely to achieve their workplace goals and function at their maximum capacity.
Like any other type of relationship, finding a friend at work and developing a rapport that’s “spouse-worthy” may not come right away for everyone. In fact, forcing relationships to develop unnaturally may only lead to resentment, awkwardness, and decreased productivity.
Do you have a work spouse? Do you find that close personal relationships at work make you better at your job?