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work wife


Your work wife makes those long, exhausting and downright dull days in the office bearable. They’re the person you gossip with as the kettle boils, the gal who will never say no to a midweek trip to the chipper and the person who will always give you a pep talk in the loo before a big meeting.

The friendship you share with your work wife is like no other, but a new study has found that this friendship may be having a negative impact on your work.

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According to Dr Sangyoon Park, having a work bestie slows down your productivity by 6 percent. 

Dr Park found that people sitting next to your pals in work reduced your productivity, but only if you were sitting next to each other as opposed to across from one another.

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He explained, “I find that employees are less productive when working with friends but only when friends are close enough to socialize with each other. 

“I find no effect when friends are working at positions further away from her such as across the table or at a neighbouring table.”

Despite the lack of productivity, Dr Park did stress the importance of socializing with your work colleagues.

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“An employee is willing to forgo approximately 6 percent of her wage to socialize with friends at work.”

We may chat too much and make way too many cups of tea, but they make work far better. Having strong relationships in work even makes employees want to stay in that company longer, so it’s a win-win for everyone really.


Let's be honest, the workplace is always made more bearable when you have a work wife to call your own.

Knowing you have a person who can cheer you up and cheer you on when your workload is bringing you out in hives and you've become positively allergic to your boss is one of life's greatest gifts.

No matter what the working day throws at you, you can be fairly certain that there will be moments of pure joy when your inbox pings with a meme-filled mail from your mate or your quick dash to the watercooler results in a full-on belly laugh.

And given the closeness of your bond, and the sheer amount of time you spend with this person, there are certain things that only she knows about you.

And here are just 13.

1. The sheer number of things that will set your teeth on edge.

While your friends and family might assume you're pretty laidback, your work wife knows that anything from a co-worker's laugh to the squeak of the office dishwasher will be enough to send you completely over the edge.

"Why does she have to let the entire office know she finds something funny? We get it, you're having an absolute ball over there."

2. How you take your tea.

Your work wife is totally entitled to step in when she sees a co-worker mere moments away from messing up your tea order.

"No no, no, she needs it the colour of a brown envelope, and she only uses Avonmore Super Milk. Look, just give it to me."

3. The embarrassing thing you did on your first day.

Whether it was the fact you forgot the boss's name or chose to microwave fish in the communal kitchen, it's fairly likely your work wife will have either seen it or heard about it.

And she generally rolls it out when you need reminding that your day isn't going as badly as your first one did.

"Remember the hack of the shoes you wore on your first day? And remember the way you left the price tag on the sole?"

4. Your office cry-face.

Obviously your friends and family will have seen you cry countless times in your life, but most of us have a particular cry we reserve for the office bathroom when we don't want anyone to know we're in meltdown mode, and your work wife can sense it coming a mile off.

"Get yourself down to that bathroom, and I'll be down in two with my makeup bag."

5. Your 'office voice'.

When it comes to communicating with difficult co-workers, most of us tend to subconsciously adopt a tone of voice which we reserve for them, and them only.

And your work wife generally wastes no times finding out what went down.

"What was your one saying to you? I heard you do the voice, but I couldn't get close enough to hear her."

6. The parts of your job that flummox you.

While you may have told your boss you're a dab hand at Excel, your work wife knows you've never completed a single Excel task without the help of at least 15 other people.

"Look, don't worry. I'll volunteer for the Excel task, and you can do the one I was going for."

7. Your burning need for the goss.

Your work wife knows you're the first person she needs to speak to the minute some seriously juicy office gossip lands.

"Meet me at the kettle in two, and set your face to stun."

8. You only use a particular bathroom stall.

When you spend that amount of time with someone, conversations about bodily functions become commonplace, and you know she wouldn't bat an eyelid over a toiler-related horror story.

"So I thought I was on my own in there, but I wasn't, and now I can never look her in the eye again."

9. The mistake that still haunts you.

We've all majorly effed-up in work at some point, and no one knows the hell you've endured as a result of that mistake more than your work wife.

Much like the bizarre impression you made on your first day, she uses this particular example as a reminder that things can always get worse.

"I know it seems awful now, but remember when you hit 'reply all' in that email?"

10. How you spend your office down-time.

Everyone has a way of decompressing at certain points during the day, and your work wife knows yours as well as she knows her own.

"Go check your mail. I sent you a link to a page dedicated to animals wearing hats. Enjoy."

11. She knows better than to ask you how your weekend was.

And that's not because you already debriefed her on it amid your weekly 'Sunday Night Fear' text series, but because she knows it will only encourage other co-workers to ask you.

"Don't go into the kitchen. Helen from Finance is demanding to know what everyone got up to on Saturday night."

12. Your disdain for the co-worker that everyone adores.

You tried to like this person because God knows it would make your day so much easier, but you cant force it, and only your work wife knows how much grief it causes you.

"Heads-up. Everyone is heading over to Claire's desk for the daily worshipping ritual, so why don't you run along to the bathroom, and I'll follow in 30 seconds?"

13. The type of pep talk that actually works.

While some people need to be reminded of their skill and talent prior to a big meeting, your work wife knows all you need to hear is that there will be coffee and a brownie on your desk when you come out of it.

"Thirty minutes from now and that brownie is yours, girl."


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We all love our work wives, the gal (or gals) who keeps you sane when the workload is all too much and knows your Starbucks order off by heart. 

Having work besties is a complete blessing, and according to jobs website Totaljobs, 17 per cent of people have a work wife, and a further 48 per cent have close bonds with multiple colleagues. 

'Work spouse relationships are formed between two people who bond intensely over workplace frustrations and stresses as well as triumphs and fun,' say Totaljobs, who have compiled quite a bit of data on the subject. 

One of their most startling discoveries was the fact that 27 per cent of employees would consider leaving their jobs if their work wife left. 

With almost a quarter of people saying they would choose to follow their work spouse out the door, that's some serious commitment. 

A further 7 per cent said they would actually feel bereavement if their work wife left them for another company. 

'This is potentially a huge loss to any business,' says Totaljobs. 

'To foster retention companies would do well to promote strong employee bonds, whilst hiring for job and culture fit.'

'This can promote employee well-being, and more importantly keep those work spouses together.'

There is no denying the importance of establishing supportive, friendly relationships at work. 

Whether it's a quick WhatsApp message to ask how that meeting went, or a full-on lunchtime venting session, having work spouses who know the exact culture of your work environment provides people with the comfort of discussing their shared experiences.

According to the study, this can make employees more motivated in their daily work life.


Work wives and work husbands – we've all had them.

They're the people that make those long days more bearable thanks to your inside jokes and mutual hatred of the noisy coffee machine.

Sure, you might send the odd “dreading tomorrow” text on a Sunday night, but for the most part, the relationship is confined to working hours.

So, why is it that most of us choose to keep our partners in the dark when it comes to our workplace friendships?

A study conducted by totaljobs asked 4,000 employees and employers across the UK a series of questions to find out how relationships develop and play out in the workplace.

Results showed that 65 per cent of participants had at least one office bestie, however only 17 per cent admitted to having a work husband or wife.

It seems people felt uncomfortable with the term and instead referred to their favourite co-worker as 'my buddy' (38 per cent) or 'my colleague' (28 per cent).

And while the vast majority of work spouse relationships are purely platonic, less than half of people said they had actually introduced their work partner to their actual partner.

In fact, only 36 per cent of participants were aware of their partners work spouse.

The study also revealed that having a close friend in the workplace actually has a huge impact on your attitude – for better and for worse.

60 per cent said that they looked forward to seeing their partner in crime at work everyday, while almost one quarter said they would consider leaving their job if their BFF was to quit.

However, it's not all good news. It turns out that 50 per cent of workers with a professional other half were actually more dissatisfied with their workplace when compared to those who had multiple close friends.

According to Marie Claire, communication expert Judi James, warned of the dangers of a work marriage, saying, "Aligning yourself to one ‘best friend’ in the workplace might increase your feelings of security and comfort but it can cause hell for your colleagues, who could even find your exclusive little double act threatening."

"By creating your own ‘in crowd’ of two in the midst of a larger social pack you risk making the others feel like the ‘out’ crowd. Apart from all those shared jokes and banter and the way you have one another’s backs, there’s an implicit hiccup in the overall hierarchy that can be seen as unfair."

So, if you've ever been jealous of a close bond shared between colleagues, don't be. Chances are they're dying to branch out. 

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