Working With Your Other Half: Relationship Maker or Breaker?
It’s an age-old question: should you mix business with pleasure? One wrong move and it could cost you your relationship as well as your career. Double whammy! So is this idea doomed from the beginning? Let’s weigh it up…
Pro: It could bring you closer together
You needn’t worry about work/life balance when you are with your partner 24/7. We spend the majority of our lives working, only to get a mere couple of hours of quality time together at the end of the day. And even then, we aren’t our best selves as we’re tired and winding down. Sharing the same office equals lots of opportunities to spend time together throughout the course of the day.
Pro: You will understand each other better
Working together means you understand one another on a deeper level. You can relate to work pressures, office politics and company bombshells like restructures or redundancies. It’s easier to feel compassion for your partner when you’re in it together. Even if it’s just being able to let off steam about that annoying Julie in HR.
Pro: You may find it inspiring
Watching your significant other command a meeting like nobody’s business adds to their appeal. You get to see a different side to them, one where they’re in their element. It’s easy to build respect for one another when you can see each other’s hard work and dedication.
Con: It could get emotionally messy
Working together can be complicated. On the one hand, you take home any workplace friction (you got promoted over your partner? Awks). On the other hand, those fights at home go to the office with you: nobody wants to feel a frosty atmosphere in the break room because your partner didn’t do the dishes last night.
Con: PDA? No way
If you’re the tactile type that’s always touchy-feely with your boo, then it’s hard to automatically switch that off. But you must. It’s not cool to hold hands under the conference table, or to share a kiss at the water cooler. It’s unprofessional and may make others uncomfortable. So, as dreamy as your other half may be, you must resist!
Con: You need your space
Spending all day everyday together is great! Until it’s not… Working together can mean zero time for yourself. It’s not healthy for couples to do everything together. A lack of alone-time can diminish your sense of identity and you may lose appreciation for one another. They say ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ for a reason!
So should you take the plunge and work together? It’s all dependent on the type of relationship you have. Some couples work seamlessly together and thrive on it. Others just don’t. Ever.
Try assessing your workplace compatibility. Ever heard of the IKEA flat-pack assembly test? If you can keep calm, take instructions from one another and work together to reach a common goal, then you might be destined to be colleagues. If you end up throwing the Allen key at his/her head, it’s time to go back to the vacancy listings…