Does Having a Work Spouse Mean You're Cheating?

Nearly one in four workers have a "spouse" at the office.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBC
    Work spouses are pretty common, but what if you want a work divorce?

    Married to your job? You may also be 'married' to someone at the office. Take this survey to see if you have a work spouse, a relationship that replicates a real marriage but is with a co-worker (and is platonic).  

    Here are seven clear signs from Careerbuilder.com  that you might 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 is it good or bad to have a work-spouse relationship? It depends.

    Benefits include emotional support during challenging times at work, complementing each others skills and abilities and having a trustworthy confidante.

    Pitfalls include the relationship being seen by others as clique-ish, the impact on the office if the relationship sours or your real spouse getting jealous of your work spouse.

    Here are some ways to keep everyone, including your work spouse, happy in the office:

    Communicate with everyone. It's great you have a work spouse but do not do it at the exclusion of other relationships in the office. 

    Avoid crossing boundaries. It's great to have support and a confidante, but be sure to set boundaries on information sharing - and stick to them. 

    Lighten up. Not all your drama needs to be shared with work spouse. Keep it light and happy. That was the gossip, breaks and relaxing will be something to look forward to in your day. 

    Thanks to Careerbuilders.com for the advice. Here's to keeping the work divorce rate down.