Nearly a quarter of people would actually contemplate leaving their job if their 'work spouse' left

Rebecca Smith
Investitures At Buckingham Palace
You've got a friend (at work) (Source: Getty)

Does your work day feel a little brighter when a certain someone is in the office? That person you confide in, or rant to?

And is their presence so important to your day that you'd actually follow them out the door should they leave?

Yes, it's a thing: Almost half of UK professionals wish they had a workplace spouse

Well, you're not alone. According to research by totaljobs, you have a case of the "work spouse", and just under a fifth of people say they have one. These relationships are formed between two people "who bond intensely over workplace frustrations and stresses, as well as triumphs and fun", according to totaljobs.

Just under a quarter said they would even consider leaving their job if their work spouse left.

And while nine per cent said they'd be indifferent, seven per cent said they'd "feel bereaved" at the loss of their work spouse.

Around 60 per cent of work spouses said their relationship meant they "look forward" to going in to work, and more than half said they would be sad if their colleague left.

Over 4,000 employees and 100 employers were grilled about their relationships at work, and 48 per cent said they had strong friendships with more than one colleague, though over a third said they don't have strong relationships at work.

Work spouse might be a term that gives rise to a few raised eyebrows, but how do people describe the individual they have bonded with at work? "My buddy" was the top choice for 38 per cent of people, while 28 per cent preferred the straightforward "my colleague", and 11 per cent opted for "my sidekick". Of those with a work spouse, five per cent did actually refer to the individual as their wife or husband.

Presumably that's all in jest, as the majority of work spouses are in relationships outside of work - 69 per cent in fact.

As for what strengthens the bond, top of the agenda for topics discussed between work spouses was the job itself and workload, as well as life events.

On the flip side: Five signs you are a hated boss - and how to fix them

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