One in five Irish workers has a ‘work husband’ or ‘work wife’

Irish businesses prepare to trial four-day working week scheme

A recent survey has revealed that one in five Irish workers has a ‘work husband’ or work wife’.

A ‘work spouse’ is a co-worker who a person has a close, platonic friendship with – usually of the opposite sex.

A survey from questioned 2,770 respondents and revealed that nearly half (46%) had witnessed this type of relationship in their workplace.

A fifth said they had a work husband or wife themselves, and 88% of those said they would remain close if one of them left for another job.

Christopher Pie is general manger at He says that having a work spouse is beneficial to employees.

He said: “We spend almost one third of our lives at work, so a strong connection with colleagues is a natural development that contributes to a positive workplace environment.

“The term ‘work husband or wife’ can sometimes be misconstrued by employers as something more than it actually is.

“It simply refers to a strong platonic friendship between two colleagues, that, if openly recognised, can have a realm of business benefits.”

Elsewhere, the survey revealed that 82% or workers had a colleague that they felt comfortable enough to confide in with issues in their personal lives.

Nearly two thirds (60%) believed they had a colleague who would support them in any workplace tensions with other co-workers, while 46% said they always share their lunch breaks with the same work mate.

Pie said that work spouses are not only good for the people involved in such relationships but also for the company they work for.

He said: “A collegiate environment where employees feel supported by their peers fosters a strong sense of community and improves motivation and morale.

“It also has a role in reducing employee turnover, as people are likely to stay longer in a job where they feel a part of a team with a good working relationship. Employers don’t have to go to great expense or take any drastic measures to foster a collaborative working culture.

“It can be as simple as encouraging employees to socialise through organised events or an internal social and wellness committee.”

More popular articles and videos

The real life mystery of what Maureen O’Hara whispered to make John Wayne look so shocked

Meghan Markle can trace her family tree back to Ireland

Matt Damon winning hearts and minds with charm assault on Ireland

Cork trio showcase Irish dancing in all its glory

Action hero Tom Cruise was once attacked by an old man in a Kerry pub

Celebrate with the top 10 Irish recipes

Liam Neeson speaks about his late wife in emotional interview

Dating site explains why Irish men make wonderful husband material

How to become an Irish citizen

Billy Connolly says public should ignore politicians and listen to comedians

Take a look inside Hollywood star Saoirse Ronan’s stunning Irish home

Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcallingJoin our community