With the amount of time we spend at work, it’s no surprise that we often meet our spouses in the workplace. Even if we don’t, we may find ourselves tempted to bring our partner into our company or to even start a business together. The idea sounds nearly perfect: we like our partner, we value their skills, and we trust them with our wellbeing. However, the underlying question when thinking of working with our spouses often is, “Is this a good idea?” While there is no clear answer, there are pros and cons to consider before making a decision.
Trust. If you’re thinking of working with your partner, chances are that you already trust them and value their work, opinions, and skills. This trust can allow businesses to flourish as more time can be dedicated to accomplishing tasks under a foundation of stability and security.
Added support. Working with your spouse can add a new layer of support to your work life. Your spouse can become your ally and your champion, making sure you are confident enough to share ideas, lead projects, or find new business.
Increased job satisfaction. Studies show that employees who feel supported and who have close friends at work feel an increased amount of job satisfaction and enjoyment. This career satisfaction can lower the chances of burnout and decrease the likelihood of leaving companies.
A lack of personal space. For some partners, working with their spouses can easily become too much. They may find that working together seems like a loss of independence and personal space. Instead of escaping to work after a fight with their spouse, they find themselves commuting with their spouse to a shared job. This can cause an increase in marital tension and stress.
Added stress at home. When partners work together, it’s likely that certain work-related stressors will follow them home. Dinner table conversation can become about the latest office drama or the newest project. Instead of fostering a relationship outside of work, couples may find themselves unable to leave work at the office.
Work can turn personal. It’s often said that we can be the most hurtful to those that we are the closest to. So, when working with our spouse, small work arguments may spiral into more personal attacks. Did your partner forget to submit a project on time? Suddenly, this work issue can become about what they are forgetting to do at home.
Before deciding if married couples should work together, it’s important to consider the benefits and drawbacks. By understanding the potential pros and cons, couples can plan for both a successful work relationship and a personal relationship. If couples elect to work together, it’s important to keep work and home separate and to always remember what you value about your partner. If couples decide that working together isn’t the right choice, they can pride themselves on a deep understanding of how they function both at home and at work. Either way, it’s essential that couples remember to keep their relationship at the forefront. This shared value and focus ensures a successful relationship, no matter what it looks like.