Zendesk: why you should find a work 'spouse'

Patricia Hyde, Zendesk
- Leadership - May 20, 2016

In a full-time position, Brits spend at least 37.5 hours per week with their colleagues – that’s nearly a quarter of the week away from your nearest and dearest.

Business can be cut-throat. So, where can you get the support required to stay inspired, do your best and ultimately get ahead? Enter the work ‘spouse’ – a platonic ‘partner’ who has your back, helps you to make it through the tough stuff and can even benefit your real life partner.

The value of such a companion is second to none and since both sides of the partnership equally benefit, finding your work ‘spouse’ is a no-brainer.

Rant and rave… without judgement

Whether it’s that customer who keeps calling and asking you to do the impossible, or a member of your team unable to grasp a basic brief that you’ve just explained for the third time, we all need to vent from time to time. The biggest challenge with this is ensuring that you don’t turn into The Wolf of Wall Street. That’s where your work ‘spouse’ comes in – the perfect emotional outlet and on-going moral support.

Under pressure

Not only can a work ‘spouse’ lighten the mood and help you to see the funny side of walking into that client meeting with toilet roll on your shoe but having that ‘special someone’ to share the load, means that you are less likely to bring stress home to your real life partner. Bringing your corporate anxiety home can lead to work-creep – next week’s big presentation taking over your hand-in-hand stroll through the park. Get it out of your system and share the pains of your profession, then leave it at the door.

Call someone who cares

Ever tell your significant other a story about a recent office mishap that had you and your colleagues rolling around with laughter in front of the watercooler, only to be greeted with a blank stare? Yep – that is because they have no idea who you are talking about. Your real life partner will definitely want to hear your work news, but save the gossip for your work ‘spouse’ – after all, there is nothing like an ‘in joke’ to bring a smile on a dismal day.

Sponsoring success

Having someone that has your back is a basic human desire and your partner is often that source of team spirit to motivate you. So, why not seek the same in the workplace? Endorsement and encouragement from someone who sees your success as important as their own is sure to push you to new heights on the corporate ladder.

Seek and you shall find

How do you find someone that understands when you need to shout and when you just need a coffee? Identifying a compatible work mate can be difficult, because it’s more than someone you get on with socially, they need to have your professional best interests at heart. Courting a work ‘spouse is actually easier than you’d think… as long as you tread that fine line between approaching and stalking.

Lobsters mate for life – well according to Phoebe from Friends anyway – and although it’s not likely that you will have just one work ‘spouse’ for your whole career, it certainly helps to align yourself with someone who has as much passion about your success as you do. Plus, with all of the work stress, gossip and frustrations dealt with, you and your real life partner can concentrate on enjoying the important things in life – Friday night takeaway and a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, right? 

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Read the May 2016 issue of Business Review Europe magazine.

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