Work wife, happy life
We’re not talking any ordinary office romance. Platonic and emotionally satisfying, a work wife is the best workplace connection you can have
WHEN WORKPLACE woes sneak in with the artificial lighting and outdated technology, there’s only one thing you can do: head to the kitchen for a cup of tea and a rant with your work wife. Not the Barnaby Joyce type, but your workplace numero uno. She has your back when work gets too much, lets you blow off steam in a safe place (the closest bar) and gives you the lols you so desperately need to make it past 3pm. The catch? There is none! Principal psychologist Lana Hall reveals the major emotional benefits to bagging yourself an office spouse.
WHY A WORK WIFE?
Happily in love? Great! Have the best network of friends? #Blessed
Still, nobody understands your workplace dynamic like your colleagues. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve been through the names, explained the roles and speculated about who likes who – your partner and friends likely don’t always care or they’ve got workplace dramas of their own to worry about. Enter the work wife. ‘Feeling understood matters to us deeply,’ says Hall. ‘Those in the most similar situations to us tend to understand us best. If you can find someone at work who’s a good fit, personalitywise, a work spouse will help you feel more connected, as well as providing a great outlet for releasing stress.’
Being the perfect partner is hard work. Balancing a career with being emotionally available, supportive, social, and sexually active is, in a word, draining. So spending time with your partner discussing how Karen in finance has been passive aggressive on email this past week is probably not the best use of what can often be limited time with your loved one. This is where the role of your office spouse becomes key to assisting your actual spouse (in a nonpolyamorous way). It’s their role to talk you through the best approach to bringing up your overdue pay rise, keep on top of office goss and read over important emails for crazy clients. ‘If you manage it correctly, having a work spouse can save your relationship,’ says Hall. ‘Letting off steam before you get home frees your mind up to focus on other parts of your life,’ like couple time, where you can genuinely bond over things you love, i.e., each other!
It’s all well and good to have a work spouse, even a work husband – but there’s definitely a line. Just ask Jennifer Aniston. Brad Pitt famously made his alleged work wife (Angelina Jolie) his actual wife after spending crazy amounts of time filming on Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and it’s a cautionary tale. ‘If you find yourself telling them personal details that you don’t share with your partner, you’re crossing the line from work spouse into reallife spouse and that can lead to affairs,’ explains Hall.
Considering how much time we spend at work (close to 2,000 hours a year), it’s important for your mental health to spend those hours happy. According to Hall, being happy comes down to improving your lifestyle balance. A work spouse understands what you’re experiencing (in real time) and validates your experience, which is an important part of being resilient to life’s challenges. ‘With a work spouse, you release stress as it’s created, leading to feelings of increased relaxation and calm at the time, and avoiding the potential to get overwhelmed from bottling feelings up until you get home,’ explains Hall.
Furthermore, working somewhere that is inadequately supportive can make us susceptible to developing depression. ‘It’s worth seeking out a workplace where you feel valued, because this leads to a greater sense of satisfaction with your life,’ says Hall.
Toxic working relationships and negative workflow destroys confidence in yourself and your workplace, so finding someone who you can trust at work is crucial. ‘You’re looking to build an emotional and mental connection with the person. Just like your reallife spouse, they don’t need to have a similar personality. A complimentary style can often provide a great counterbalance to your own way of dealing with problems, creating a powerful unit that can help to make work meaningful and satisfying.’
QUEEN QUINN IS ONE HELL OF A WORK WIFE!