connecting linkedin


What Is A Work Spouse &

Do You Need One? 

Sima Kumar mentalhealth, mentalhealthawareness...

What Is A Work Spouse & Do You Need One?

Image: Brooke Cagle via Unsplash


We’ve all heard friends and colleagues refer to fellow colleagues as their “work wife” or “work husband”. Beyond an endearing way of referring to your favorite person at work, studies show having deep and meaningful work friendships are an integral part of employee retention. Having a work spouse increases overall employee happiness and it does differ from having close relationships with multiple work colleagues, which is more common in larger companies.

As workplace culture began to change from closed offices to open offices and more people moved into white collar jobs, the workplace began to see the rise of the work spouse. In today’s world of startups and open office plans and a fast moving retail eco-system that can feel daunting, having a work spouse is an anchor to go through professional challenges and celebrate wins. The DNA of a work spouse is a consistently close relationship with one other colleague, regardless of their gender identity. 

Image: via Unsplash 

For retail employees having a work spouse often relates to having a trusted colleague to assist in clientele building, learning the ropes beyond onboarding and HQ training, someone consistent to take breaks with and build a long lasting trusting relationship making employees feel someone has their back, literally. Shift work often means not being available when the customer returns - this is a perfect opportunity to tag team sales, not lose commission and provide customers with consistent customer service.

It also means having someone to confide in when experiencing less than ideal situations. A work spouse can provide perspective to help diffuse emotions and ride out tension, while also offering a sense of safety which encourages continued productivity. Statistics show these are all positives for creating a support system for the employee pipeline but also for a brand as a whole.  Research has shown these kinds of bonds build company culture as well as loyalty. It’s also a holistic way for HR and hiring managers to be assisted with supporting employees who are struggling.

As we are in the middle of Mental Health Awareness week in the UK, we’re including an easy infographic on how to approach a conversation with your work spouse or hiring manager and ask for help if you’re struggling. As the stigma around mental health lifts, we see how having a healthy eco-system to support us at work at multiple touch points is integral to enjoying our professional lives. If you are struggling with feelings of self-harm or suicide and need immediate assistance help is available. Text SHOUT to 85258 in the UK to text with a trained Crisis Volunteer. 

Image: via @sitwithit Instagram