It’s one thing to be married to your job. But to be married to someone else who works there?
Career counsellors say newlyweds who clock into the same office share commutes, professional aspirations, and tax benefits galore.
“A lot of people do it extremely well, and it’s really common,” workplace relationship guru Courtney Anderson says. “It’s a great way to maximize your resources and benefits, and when it works, it works amazingly.”
And when it doesn’t? You could get fired and divorced by the same boss. Ouch.
Keep it Serious
“When it’s done right, people take their work very seriously,” Anderson says.
“They’re not like, ‘Can you file this business report, oh honey, I love you, can you pick up the kids?’ No. That would be ridiculous.”
“You have to be very clear about keeping the lines set,” agrees Office Mate author Helaine Olen, who has worked five years alongside her husband. That means don’t reach decisions at the dinner table. Don’t dash into your spouse’s office and shut the door.
“You cannot use your spousal relationship in any way, shape, or form to get a favour,” Olen emphasizes. “You have to keep it really professional.”
“It should seem almost weird from the outside,” Anderson adds. “People will say ‘Oh, that’s your husband? That’s your wife? But you seem so formal with them.’ But why shouldn’t you be formal?
“Team members aren’t there to see you running around, patting each other on the butt.”
The tough part about splitting an office with your soulmate isn’t finding a way to work together, Olen says. It’s finding a way to be apart.
“There is obviously a thing called too much togetherness,” she warns. “Be careful about that. You need to have separation.”
If you work from home, work in separate sides of the house, she recommends. If you work in the office, don’t do lunch everyday.
“Commute to work separately,” she adds. “It’s a really neat solution to the problem. It gives you some time to be apart. Alone time.”