What is a Work Spouse?

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A work spouse is a co-worker of the opposite sex with whom you have a close platonic relationship. In many ways, these relationships can mirror a real marriage.

According to a 2007 survey from Vault.com, a career information Web site, 23 percent of workers reported that they had a work spouse.

How do you know you’ve met your work spouse?

1. You depend on him or her for office supplies, snacks, Advil and moral advice.

2. There are inside jokes and looks that you and a specific him/her share.

3. You can be bluntly honest with him or her about his or her appearance, hygiene or hair (and vice versa). You’re comfortable enough to point out that he has spinach in his teeth — or that her fly is down.

4. When something eventful happens at work, he or she is the first person you seek out for a venting session or to celebrate with.

5. He or She knows what to get you for breakfast, lunch and coffee breaks (and knows if you are gluten free or how many sugars you want in your coffee, etc.).

6. You can finish each others sentences.

7. He or she knows as much if not more about your personal life as your best friend or real-life spouse does.

Reasons having a work spouse is important:

• You have a friend who provides emotional support at work during challenging times. During times of stress at home or at work, you have a built-in support system. Everyone wants to know that they have someone they can rely on to release emotions. It helps us feel at home and secure when we have this person.

• They often complement each other in terms of skills, abilities and their approaches to work. The two of you can make a very productive team. It allows you to do what you do best and focus on what you love and enjoy while knowing the other person has your back.

• Having a trustworthy co-conspirator for those occasional workplace escapades (and juicy gossip) can be beneficial, and often acts as a way to release work-related stress. We spend most of our time at work and having that person to rely on is a great way to release the energy so you can return to a happier place when dramas show up.

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