Ah, the work spouse, the ubiquitous, reliable compadre at the office. He or she knows exactly what you order at the deli for lunch while simultaneously knowing how you’ll crank out the next article or project on deadline.
The camaraderie is second to none and according to a piece on U.S. News & World Report, although there are pros to having a work spouse, there are some cons as well.
For starters, work spouses make sense. As you cultivate solid working relationships with colleagues, it’s advantageous for someone to have your back and vice versa.
As for one drawback? There’s a gray area between professional and personal boundaries. Although you may work closely together, that often bleeds into sharing information about your personal lives. Check that, it could lead to too much information. For example, maybe too many issues about your home are brought up in the office because you feel comfortable revealing information.
Another benefit to having a work spouse is productivity. If your bestie is an excellent worker and you work closely together, chances are your productivity, efficiency and stellar work will soar. Even a weekly brainstorming meeting for new assignments may boost creativity.
Conversely, as pointed out in the piece, work spouses may lower productivity in some instances, too. What if he or she isn’t exactly a rock star at work and is a goof off artist instead? He or she may drag you down. If you’re working late on deadline one night, maybe you get punchy instead of serious and down to business.
Switching back to pros again, a work spouse may lessen work stress. Maybe your pal is a coffee buddy and you take a break every afternoon to get a cup of Joe. Taking a break to clear your head and focus on non-work conversations could indeed be healthy.
Lastly, if you’re too buddy-buddy, as mentioned in the piece this could create animosity among others. Maybe they’re jealous of your close relationship or maybe one “spouse” is a manager and the other one is a team member.
In another instance if they’re peers, maybe a spouse ends up getting promoted while the other one gets left in the dust. Strife could indeed occur so the key is enjoying the light work relationship by getting personable without getting too personal.