Valentine's Day is now a mere four days away and love is in the air – and, apparently, the office, but not in the way you might be thinking.
A survey released today by jobs website CV-Library has discovered that almost half (47 per cent) of UK professionals either have or wish they had a workplace spouse, a colleague of the opposite gender with whom they have a close, but platonic, relationship.
When asked why they longed for such a bond, over a third (37 per cent) cited support and mentorship, while 16 per cent said advice and guidance and 13 per cent remarked that it was just nice to have somebody to share their woes and worries with.
"With UK professionals spending upwards of 35 hours in the office each week, it’s not surprising to learn that they are turning to colleagues for support and guidance," said Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library. "Having a close friend at work can bring a range of benefits and could ultimately make staff more productive."
However, just like real-life marriages, coupling up in the workplace is not always a smooth path to happiness. Just less than a quarter (24 per cent) worried that falling out with a work spouse would make being in the office more than a touch awkward, while 15 per cent confessed that such relationships could distract them from the work they actually supposed to be doing.
"It’s important that UK employers recognise the importance of workplace relationships and create an environment that fosters openness and permits workers to socialise. However, workers must take responsibility and ensure their work spouse relationship remains professional."
No matter how closely knit you and your workplace spouse are, there's one thing we can almost guarantee you won't see eye to eye on. Earlier research has found that the ideal comfortable temperature for women is higher than that for men, and that the readout on the office thermostat is the number one cause of arguments in the workplace.