Do you have a go-to person of the opposite gender in the office with whom you’ve formed a tight friendship? Then you most likely have a “work spouse.”
According to a report by recruitment and training firm in Kenya, Corporate Staffing Kenya, these relationships are quite common in Kenyan organizations.
The report dubbed Inside the World of Work Spouses in Kenyan Organizations found that out of 10 office workers, 6 have or have had work spouse relationships.
The company defined a work spouse as a colleague of the opposite gender with whom you have a strong friendship with and who meets your emotional needs in the workplace. They offer a close connection, support, and advice on both work and personal issues. The relationship is ideally platonic.
During the survey by Corporate Staffing Kenya, 70 percent of the respondents mentioned that they are aware of these relationships going on within their organization.
The report shows that of the employees who have had or are currently in this type of relationship, 61.1 percent are married, 13.8 percent are in a romantic relationship, 24.3 percent are single while 0.8 percent are divorced or widowed.
Slightly more than half of workers in a work spouse relationship have either kept their work spouse partners as a secret or are single and they don’t have a significant other in their lives at the moment.
“The most talked about topic of discussion amongst work spouses is usually workload and tasks. Other topics include home issues, current affairs & news, etc,” reads the report.
66 percent of the respondents even had their work husbands or wives influence their career decisions.
Out of Office Relationship
Corporate Staffing Kenya revealed that 41 percent of workers in this type of platonic relationship stay in touch even beyond office hours, via texts and calls and even hang out in social places.
Additionally, 78 percent of the respondents would continue with their relationships even if the work spouse left the workplace.
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