In this episode of Crina and Kirsten Get to Work, our hosts dish on workplace spouses – but hold tight because, as usual, they have some opinions on workplace romance they need to get out there first!
The origin of the term “work wife” is from 19th century UK and was first used to describe a very close and aligned working relationship between a government minister and his male secretary. The term then went on to describe female assistants as work wives – taking care of the male bosses personal needs at work. We have moved away from this – thankfully!
Today the term workplace spouse describes someone at work who is a gender to which we are attracted and with whom we share something of an exclusive, intimate, nonsexual bond with at work. We need to take care with labels as what we call something can be self-fulfilling. Simply Hired reports that half of women and 45% of men report having a work spouse at work and a significant percentage of these folks feel sexual attraction to each other. In a time where we recognize the benefits of keeping sex out of the workplace, why do we continue to sexualize people who are really friends – let’s just have more friends.
Listen as Crina and Kirsten take issue with sexualization of the workplace – and advocate for workplace friends.