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Office Spouses
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Chrm Message From: paulthomas Total Posts: 43 Join Date: 05/08/2006
Rank: Executive Post Date: 04/02/2009 08:41:48 Points: 215 Location: --

Hi All,

Since we are discussing about the emerging US culture in our daily lives, I'd like to share this piece of article that introduces a new term "Office Spouse"

Office Spouses

An emerging phenomenon in the modern workplace, experts put it down to women matching men pace for pace on the work front. The office spouse is a colleague with whom one has a very close but non-romantic relationship . A US survey of workplace romance found that workplace "spousing" has surged recently, in part because it offers immediate intimacy without the sex or commitment. There are no strings attached, and if it doesn't work out, you go pick out another office 'spouse' .

A US study says there are many emotional benefits of close workplace relationships modeled after a marriage: The 'office spouses' can be more open with each other than they can with their own spouses, and there's no guilt involved. Experts say it's a wonderful support system among workers.

Crossing the line

While most working people have one close friend within the organisation with whom they share workplace office matters, lines begin to blur as proximity increases. Is this also the way office romances start? Perhaps. They do start as innocent friendships, but when you have a steady relationship outside office, don't let the spouse at work disturb what you've got going. There is a thin line between an office spouse and an affair. The worst would be to be perceived as being attached when you are actually not.

What's the use of an office spouse?

Plenty. Simply put your relationship with him/her is because you share a compatibility, understanding and comfort. The camaraderie is evident and the laughter can be heard across cubicles. You can trust him/her, and he/she trusts you right back. Also, the fact that you and he/she share the same office goals. Since your dependence on him/her converts to profit, you give him/her some leeway and that's what others begin to notice. This is also where you draw the line. While people are free to perceive what they want, you don't mix the relationship at work for anything more. Office lunches are fine, but cosy lunches are unnecessary . Don't give him/her gifts and there's no room for personal compliments either . Your relationship need not be sterile though. Keep it warm, witty and fun. And ofcourse, in the end, Just keep romance out of it.

Hence, I personally feel that having emotional ties at the workplace is not wrong, IF you know where to draw the line.

Looking forward for your views and opinions on this.

Chrm Message From: Kshitija Total Posts: 8 Join Date: 05/08/2006  
Rank: Beginner Post Date: 05/02/2009 10:42:12 Points: 40 Location: --

Good Job...... nice article.

Chrm Message From: mark Total Posts: 47 Join Date: 05/08/2006  
Rank: Executive Post Date: 11/02/2009 08:16:53 Points: 235 Location: --

A very interesting read - though one does wonder if in reality an "office spouse" does exist. More often than not one hears of messy situations just because people cross that very thin line...

It all sounds very good in theory...but what is the reality of it all? Do we have any evidence to show that such relationships actually exist and remain the way they are supposed to be?



Chrm Message From: priyanka Total Posts: 86 Join Date: 05/08/2006  
Rank: Manager Post Date: 11/02/2009 08:18:09 Points: 430 Location: --

What is the difference between 'Good Friend in the Office' and 'Good Colleague in the Office' and 'Office Spouse'?



Chrm Message From: sbai Total Posts: 21 Join Date: 05/08/2006  
Rank: Executive Post Date: 11/02/2009 08:20:12 Points: 105 Location: --


I have had the opportunity (with Gods Grace) to work in HR domain at Manhattan, NYC, Toronto and Mumbai. I just want to share this with you based on my limited personal experience. Please pardon me if I rub anybody on the wrong side.

1. People in different countries have their own value systems. USA has its own and so does India. This office spouse concept that you wish to discuss is nothing but a recipe for 'DIVORCE'.

2. We Indians are trying to embrace and make a 'best practice' out of a culture, which is universally known to have inherent built-in defects, on the marital front. Professionally, US people do good but India cannot replicate that system as we are neither economically at par with US nor our so called 'democracy' is for the welfare of the people.

3. We Indians have many things positive about us, which has been the envy of my foreign colleagues like high knowledge, ethics, clarity of concepts etc. Let us build on that.

4. The 'office-spouse' culture has been going on discreetly at Indian work place since many years. It will also go on and we HR people cannot do anything about it. But please do not promote or give it a stamp of approval. Indians already work longer hours than their western counterparts. The company might profit from it as employees would rather stay back after 8 pm at work. But we will be breaking many marriages, as spouses will not go home!!

5. Hence my request to the HR fraternity: Please do not formalise such concepts. Please do not think that we humans know where to draw a line; we sometimes do not (I include myself). Emotions are something that we cannot always control (and I am no Lord Sri Krishna to keep my senses under control, as written in the Bhagvad Gita!!)

Let us be professional (can learn many things from our western counterparts on that), be helpful to our colleagues (male or female) and work smart between the working hours ( 9am-6pm), go back home and enjoy time with family. This is just not theory but practically possible. All you need is volition.

I might sound a little traditional, conservative etc etc but I prefer to stick to a 5000 year old culture (wherever I work or live) till the end of my life.

Warm Regards,

s bai

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