Bandwidth for Bae: Seventy Percent of Americans Have a Work Spouse

According to Office Pulse by Captivate Most Professionals May Have an Office Valentine This Year

NEW YORK, February 14, 2017 – According to the results of a new Captivate Office Pulse Survey, 70% of U.S. business professionals have or have had a “work spouse,” someone at work whom they communicate with and confide in. Even as traditional office environments have changed over the years with the rise of a virtual workforce, work spouses have increased 5% since 2010. Additional findings from the survey of white-collar workers in major metropolitan markets in the U.S. found that work spouses contribute to happiness at work, yet the working relationship can sometimes cause problems offline.

Worker’s Comp…anionship.
Most professionals today admit to having a work spouse and, like true love, they exist in all forms.

  • Work spouses are typically of the opposite sex.
    • 93% of men report they’ve had a female work spouse.
    • 77% of women have had a male work spouse.
  • Most work spouses are peers, but 8% of professionals say their work spouse is their direct report or manager.
  • Baby Boomers are less likely to engage in spousal behavior at the office, with 40% reporting they’ve never had a work spouse, compared to 28% of Millennials who have never had a work spouse.

Becky with the Good Chair.
While in many ways a work spouse can mirror a real marriage, sometimes it can blur the line between friendship and cheating.

  • 7% of business professionals admit they’ve “crossed the line” with a work spouse. That’s on par with 8% back in 2010.
  • 47% of business professionals have never lost a work spouse (interesting, when compared to the fact that 40-50% of married couples in the United States divorce).
  • A third of work spouses discuss salary with each other, that’s down from 58% who discussed salary in 2010.
  • 44% of work spouses discuss their “real” spouse with their “work” spouse.

Out of the Office.
Just how often are professionals “touching base” with their work spouse?

  • 41% of those with a work spouse say they never spend time with each other outside the office.
    • Surprisingly, 25% of Baby Boomers said they spend time with their work spouse outside the office at least once a week, compared to just 13% of Millennials.
  • 7% of male business professionals admit their real spouse is jealous of their work spouse, while just 2% of female business professionals say their real spouse is jealous of their work spouse.
    • Coincidentally, 7% of business professionals say they hide their work spouse from their real spouse, and more men (11%) than women (5%).

Happy Work Wife, Happy Work Life.

  • 68% said having a work spouse contributes to their happiness at work.
  • Millennials rely on a work spouse for workplace happiness more than Baby Boomers.
    • 73% of Millennials said a work spouse contributes to their happiness at work, compared to just 52% of Boomers.

About Office Pulse

Office Pulse by Captivate offers marketers timely analysis and insights from a proprietary panel of upscale professionals in the top markets. The Office Pulse panel of more than 8,000 influential consumers and business decision makers includes C-level executives, millennials, middle management, small business owners, working women and working moms.

About Captivate 

Known for its vast network of 10,000 elevator and lobby displays located in 1,600 premier office buildings across the U.S., Captivate brings life to work by connecting over 10 million unique monthly viewers to the world outside their office. By engaging its viewers with timely news and actionable information, Captivate connects advertisers with a highly desirable and difficult-to-reach audience of affluent and influential business professionals through creative, research-driven and Nielsen-measured advertising and marketing programs. Founded in 1997, Captivate is owned by Generation Partners and Gannett.