Millennials clash with Gen Z and Boomers on concept of work spouses

Millennials clash with Gen Z and Boomers on concept of work spouses

A recent poll has found that Gen Z (ages 18-24) and Boomers (55+) are alright about having work wives while millennials (ages 25-34) disapprove of the concept. The poll was conducted by Redfield & Wilton Strategies for Newsweek and surveyed 1,500 US adults about workplace relationships. 

For the layman, work spouse is a phrase used to refer to a co-worker with whom there is a special relationship, mostly platonic in nature but akin to a bond seen in marriages. In the survey, 21 per cent of respondents said it was okay to have a work spouse while 45 per cent did not agree. 

However, the most fascinating results came from the different age groups. A whopping 61 per cent of GenZers felt having a work spouse was acceptable with only 39 per cent saying it was not okay. Similarly, 60 per cent of Boomers were cool with the concept. Meanwhile, millennials stood out from the rest. 

57 per cent of adults between 25-34 said it was not acceptable to have a work spouse. Only 18 per cent thought it was alright to forge such close relations in the workplace while 17 per cent were on the fence saying it all depended on the circumstances. 

Experts said one would have expected the boomers to not approve of such a concept but the fact that millennials overwhelmingly batted against it – surprised many. 

Set boundaries

Relationship expert Ceza Ouzounian told Newsweek that proper boundaries need to be set so that the situation does not become muddled, especially in a professional setting. 

“If this relationship is a platonic relationship, there is nothing wrong with this type of relationship. A lot of people have close friendships with colleagues. It can however cause issues. If boundaries aren’t set that this is purely a friendship, it can cause one person—or both—to have more feelings than just friendship,” 

Though in most cases the relationships between work spouses remain non-romantic, there are instances when it blossoms into something very different. One employee named Emily (name changed)m, interviewed by the publication stated that her work husband later went on to become her real husband. 

“We were very good friends for almost two years. We started dating a few months after the end of our respective relationships, and about two years into knowing each other,” said Emily. 

(With inputs from agencies)