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The rise of the work spouse is the inevitable spin-off, as Joanna Butler, an occupational psychologist, explains: “We’re more likely to work in collaborative environments than isolated units these days, which make us more prone to this kind of ‘marrying’.
We’re also working longer hours during which we seek a cheerleader to help us deal with work-based stresses.” She adds: “It’s easier and safer to have friendships with the opposite sex at work when there are pre-defined boundaries to which you are expected to adhere.” Despite the faux flirtation, Emily says her work marriage is devoid of romance.
There is an absolute chemistry between us in terms of trust and friendship – but no sexual vibe.” Nonetheless, they fast developed the idiosyncrasies common to married couples.
“I tell him if he’s wearing something that doesn’t suit him,” says Emily.
They are “work husband and wife” – male and female colleagues who share a close and exclusive platonic bond within the confines of the office, one that can feel like a marriage, but without the sexual intimacy.
Unicef and the Assam State Commission for Protections of Child Rights (ASCPCR) are working on an action plan to help children of female sex workers in the state to benefit from various government welfare schemes.
For previous generations, office conversation was largely restricted to stilted small talk.
But the career landscape has shifted: 70 per cent of employees say having friends at work is the most crucial part of having a happy working life, while 50 per cent of employees with a best friend at work claim they feel a strong connection with their company.
In fact, the dynamic is dependent on its platonic status: “We joke around, but our relationship is like an old marriage without any sexual element whatsoever,” she says.
“Paul is a huge source of support and I think he is brilliant – but nothing would ever happen between us.” They have been working in the same London office since August 2013 when Emily, a 34-year-old PR consultant, joined Movember, the charity where Paul is head of marketing and communications.