December 27, 2016

Pros and cons of working with you significant other

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Published: 27 December 2016 


If you live in Brisbane and you and your significant other work in the same industry, chances are you could end up working together. If you work in a niche area, then there might not be that much competition - you’ll end up working together.
However, it isn’t always the best idea to be working with your significant other. Here are some pros and cons that might have you second guessing your decision to work together:


You’ll get to spend more time together

If you don’t live together, this can be a great thing. It can be difficult to spend time with your significant other during the week when we’re busy with work and then tired at night. Working together is a great way to spend more time together. You’ll get to spend lunch breaks together, which gives you the chance to relax, destress and have someone to talk to about work. If you live together, you’ll also be able to travel to work together, which could save money or at least give you some company on that commute.

Professional support

Your significant other will understand the context of your work life and will be in a better position to offer you support and advice. Your significant other knows your boss, and they will be able to offer advice on how to best handle them. If your partner didn’t work with you, they can still offer advice, but won’t really know first hand how well that advice will go. If you’re in a high demand job, say as a lawyer or a doctor, then your significant other is going to understand the demands and expectations you face at work.



You’ll both be on the same pay cycle, so it’s a bit easier to manage your finances.


Studies show that we work harder when we are happy. Happiness can make people 12% more productive. Of course you’re going to be happier if you’re in a good relationship and your significant other is in the same office.


You’ll get to spend more time together

Wait...wasn’t this on the pro list? While spending more time together can be a good thing, it can also be a bad thing. If you’re working closely with your significant other, you’re going to see them all the time. When you wake up, travelling to work, at work, at lunch, going home, at night. You run the risk of getting sick of each other. And what about if you end up in a fight? There’s no way of avoiding them at work and having some time to cool off.


If relationships aren’t allowed

Some workplaces have rules in place that state relationships between co-workers aren’t allowed. Generally, it’s probably to avoid the problems on the “cons” list, or to avoid instances of sexual harassment. But if you’re just starting out being in a relationship, it can make things a bit more difficult. You don’t want to get busted by your boss with your new significant other. If you’re friends with your coworkers, chances are you’ll end up telling them or they will see you and your significant other together outside of work.

Competing with your significant other

If you’re at the same level in the same industry, chances are you might end up trying to out-perform your partner at work. If you’re looking for another job, you might both end up applying for the same job. This could be awkward if it’s not discussed about beforehand. Imagine if your significant other got that dream job you really wanted. In this instance it’s best to check with your significant other before applying - chances are they’ll be completely supportive of you.


Not being able to separate work and your personal life

Some people prefer keeping their personal life exactly that - personal. This is harder to do when you work together. It can be helpful to personally know about who your significant other is talking about and have their problems be more relatable. But the problems from work end up coming home. If your significant other is your boss, and you make a mistake at work, chances are you’ll end up hearing about it at home too.

If you break up

When you’re getting into a relationship with someone you work with, you won’t necessarily think about the worst case scenario, that being if you break up. How will this change the workplace dynamics? If your significant other is your boss, it could make the workplace extremely uncomfortable. You would also have to interact with them every day while also trying to move on. If you continue to work in the same place, you might end up having to see or hear about their future relationships. It might not just be a nightmare for HR, but a nightmare for yourself.

If you’re just getting together with a coworker, chances are you won’t really think about the pros and cons of pursuing the relationship. Business Insider Australia lists twelve rules which coworkers can follow.

Ben Maden

Read more posts by Ben

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