Do I need a ‘work husband’?

Do I need a "work husband" to advance?
Do I need a “work husband” to advance?

Hey there! If you stopped by the blog yesterday and were disappointed to see the password-protected post, feel free to shoot me an email at (prove you’re not trying to spy on me or sue me) to request it. I wish there was a way to at least let followers read the blog, but WordPress isn’t THAT awesome yet. And hey, feel free to shoot me emails at anytime; I love to read.

Anyway, what I really wanted to talk about today is this: a recent article published by Fortune magazine, “The secret to getting ahead at work? Get a work spouse,” lists several reasons why I should probably get a work spouse.

According to the article, a work spouse can balance the duties of the job; allowing each team member to shine in her/her own way, while getting a TON of work done. It’s apparently a win-win.

I’m all for a winning situation at the office, but that phrase “work husband” or “work spouse” just bothers me. Something sounds so… Ashley Madison about it. Am I alone here? Take this, from the article, for example:

In many situations in our office marriage we have applied the life lessons learned over decades in our actual marriages, such as patience and commitment. The things we have in common – similar values, the joy we take in engaging with clients and developing relationships, and our devotion to community – have helped see us through.

I feel like the person who wrote that was a little more into it than anyone should be. An article published on AdWeek approaches the subject a little better, admitting there are pros and cons to having a work spouse.

  • Pro: the bond is second-to-none. Con: there’s a gray area between personal and professional.
  • Pro: greater productivity. Con: less productivity.
  • Pro: less stress for you. Con: animosity among others.

Not sure if your work friend qualifies as your work spouse? Have no fear, CNN is here with seven signs you have a work spouse:

1. You depend on a particular co-worker for office supplies, snacks and aspirin.

2. There are inside jokes that you and a specific co-worker share.

3. You can be bluntly honest with this person about his or her appearance, hygiene or hair (and vice versa). You’re comfortable enough to point out that the other’s hair is sticking up — or that someone’s fly is down.

4. When something eventful happens at work, this co-worker is the first person you seek out for a de-briefing.

5. At breakfast, lunch and coffee breaks, your closest co-worker knows what to order for you and how you like your coffee (and vice versa).

6. You and your co-worker can finish each other’s sentences.

7. Someone in your office knows almost as much about your personal life as your best friend or real-life spouse does.

…So, do you have a work spouse? If so, I’d love to hear about it! I don’t think I’ve had quite this serious of a “work” relationship, though I’ve definitely had something close. What these articles don’t address is the size of the office or the office culture where these types of relationships exist.

In smaller offices, focused on team work, I’m leaning toward the feeling that there’s not really a need for an exclusive “marriage” relationship. Thoughts?


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