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Is Working With Your Spouse in the Same Office a Good Idea?

By Edited Apr 12, 2016 3 4
Male and female colleagues
Credit: adabara/Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

Working together in the same office presents the ideal scenario for some married couples. These duos typically relish in the days they can spend together at work and usually enjoy spending every waking moment together. Sharing both work and home life strengthens their relationships.

On the other hand, other couples find working together in the same environment to be a trying and difficult process. Over the course of time it may even put excess strain on the marriage because the pressure of spending both days and nights in each other's company doesn't allow enough personal space.

There are many advantages and disadvantages of married couples working together in the office. Whether or not this situation is successful really depends upon each couple. What may work very well for one married pair can fail miserably for another couple. It also may depend upon whether or not the couple met at work or if they ended up at the same organization after they wed.

Pros of Married Couples Sharing a Workplace

Lots of time together

When people get married they choose one another to share their life with. For some couples this works wonderfully for both personal and professional lives. Some couples may choose to start a family business and built a company from the bottom up together. Others may have met at work, gotten married and decided to continue to work together.

Man woman colleagues shaking hands
Credit: Geralt/Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

For couples who enjoy being around one another all the time, working together affords plenty of time to spend with one another. This includes lunch hours and other designated breaks. During the workday, quiet quality "couple" time could be found that they might not otherwise get at home if they have young children or a busy family life.

Share similar interests

Couples who work together have plenty of similar interests to discuss with one another. There is likely never to be disinterest or not understanding context when discussing work after hours. Both partners will have an innate knowledge and interest for what the other is talking about since the other understands the workplace and its issues.

Commute to work together

A couple employed by the same business can commute back and forth to the office together. This is beneficial the duo can car-pool and can be another way to spend quality time away from what may be a busy household; during the morning and afternoon commute a couple can have one-on-one discussions with one another. Another benefit is traveling together can save on commuter parking, gasoline and other types of transportation costs.

NYC taxi in traffic
Credit: Leigh Goessl/All rights reserved

Synching schedules

Another benefit is the couple likely has the same days off for holidays or other designated company office closures. This can really work to a couple's advantage because they'll never have to worry about conflicting schedules. Additionally, any "down" times in the office will likely coincide so couples working together in the same office may have an easier time planning vacation times.

feet/relaxing
Credit: ndroidnerd/Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

Cons of Married Couples Sharing a Workplace

Less variety in one another’s day

For some couples working together can get mundane after a while. When two people share the same day, there is nothing new to talk about in off-work hours at home. This lack of variation may get tedious after a while. Some people might want to "get away" from their own workday and find it nice to hear a spouse's day and get to experience different conversations and topics.

Spend too much time together

While a couple marries because they want to spend time together, there may come a time where too much time is spent in one another's company. This may impact quality time together if one or both partners need occasional time away from one another.

Most people, at one time or another, need individual space. When spouses are involved in every facet of each other's lives, this can result in divergence and a need to be away from one another. After a while this could result in an increased number of arguments or frustrations. In time, this could have a negative  impact on the marriage, home life or both.

Conflicts at work

Depending on the positions each partner holds at work, if there is a difference in opinion on a project or a disagreement on a work issue, the probability of this clash may carry over and become home conflict. If this occurs, it could harm the quality of family life and may cause discord in the family. This could have a domino effect on children if the couple has any. Kids are very intuitive to stress and, when couples work together, there is a possibility more disagreements could occur over job-related issues.

Couple in conversation
Credit: kabaldesch0/Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

If a couple has disagreements or conflicts happening at work and brings these home, it'll eventually spill over into family life and possibly cause issues.

Resentment or jealousy

If one partner gets a promotion or a raise and the other person does not, this could result in resentment or jealousy. Especially if one partner ends up being in a managerial position over the other; this is a volatile area for conflict in both a marriage and the workplace which could have many ripple and residual effects. Many jobs won't put couples in the direct line of supervision, but one could theoretically "be the boss" simply due to his or her title.

Vacations

While planning vacations could theoretically be a plus, it could also be a drawback. If the couple wants to take off time during the times of the year that are in high demand for leave, they could be denied by their employer due to needing to spread out employee vacation requests.

There are many benefits and drawbacks to couples working together in the same office. The best way to determine if this is an ideal scenario for you is to sit down, discuss the pros and cons with your partner and see how one another feels about the idea.

[ Related reading: Why Dating a Colleague Can Be Tricky Business]

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Comments

Feb 4, 2016 11:17am
vicdillinger
I have made the mistake of dipping my pen in the company a few times, and personally I think it's always a bad idea. I also worked in a place decades ago with my then-girlfriend and found that too much "togetherness" can tear at the fabric of an otherwise good relationship. Good piece.
Feb 5, 2016 3:04am
LeighGoessl
Thanks Vic for reading and for sharing your thoughts.
I tend to agree about that "togetherness" factor. Too much of a good thing - not always so good.
I think for some people though, it can work out. I used to work for this agency and there were (surprisingly!) many married people who met in the office. Most of them had moved - or maybe had been moved - to other divisions though by the time I arrived.
Feb 5, 2016 6:02am
pgiblett
I have never worked in the same company as my wife, although we did work in the same location once, my office building was 250 metres away from hers. You may think this ideal for car sharing, but it was not, as frequently in the middle of the day I would have to go on a client visit and would not get back for 6 to 9 hours, so commuting together except on odd occasions turned out not to be possible.
Feb 6, 2016 2:38pm
LeighGoessl
That's a good point - I hadn't considered the varying schedule aspect of sharing transportation. Thanks for commenting!
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