THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A year back, Priya got married through an arranged marriage. As it turned out her husband-to-be was working in the same office. Today, both come to office together, occasionally saunter around where their better half is working, and then leave together.
The situation is more or less a happy one, except on some days when Priya is irritated with her husband at home, and cannot tolerate the prospect of having him around at work too.
Spouses working together in the same office isn’t all that uncommon, but it does come with its share of unique dynamics. In today’s times when work schedules leave hardly any ‘us’ time for spouses, some would be prompted to see such a situation where both are thrown in the same workplace as a blessing. But quite a number of people also believe that such a situation should be avoided, because it means a definite loss of privacy, and robs off early the mystery and charm of the relationship. And of course there is that eternal human truth about familiarity always breeding contempt.
City Express spoke to a cross-section of couples about what they love and hate about working together? Najma M and her husband, Afsal are both dentists, and as is extremely common in the medical field, both work together in the same clinic.
“There is no hour in my life when I am not with him. This has strengthened our relation and our fights do not last more than an hour as we always have time to sort out issues. And yes, there’s always some time between work to talk about what we can have for dinner,” Najma says.
With so many cons, is there anything to complain about working together with her hubby? As it turns out, there are a few disadvantages. “Since we are together, most of my colleagues keep a distance from us. They don’t want to interfere in our world or that’s what they say. Naturally, we don’t have close friends at work and obviously, this isn’t a happy thing,” she adds.
Seems like there are many who share Najma’s opinion. In an online poll conducted by a leading IT company as to whether its employees liked their spouse working with them, most of them replied in negative. A lot of techies commented: “Even if he or she is working in same office, it definitely has to be in another building.”
There are couples who don’t relish the idea of constantly being in the same space, and feel it brings monotony into the relationship. Take the example of Parvathy and husband Mukund, both employees at a leading company in Infopark. They admit that working together is not the best of options. “A little distance is always needed to spice up the relationship. Here, we know everything happening in each other’s life. There isn’t any surprise or curiosity.” Mukund says.
Also the work place dynamics is invariably influenced by the couple and vice versa. A rude boss or an over-friendly superior can unsettle the balance in any relationship. For Preeti and Sudheer, employees at a media organisation in Kochi, it is the boss who plays the villain in the ‘happy family’ at work place.
“Mistakes happening at work are very common. When I get pulled up for something, my husband gets worried though he is professional enough not to interfere. In such situations, you get worked up for something that is a total non-issue. Couples working in different offices don’t have to face similar situations,” says Preeti.
Preeti goes on to add jokingly that she cannot even lie to her husband about money as he knows her exact salary. However, the scene is not altogether gloomy and there are couple who find joy and comfort being together at the work place. Many treat this closeness as something that spices up their relationship.
For Anna and Samuel, who work together in the same office but different wings, there couldn’t have been a better situation.
“Though we work together, our fields are no way connected. That way we have our space. And we find joy in being together,” say both who fell in love at work and decided to get hitched. If it was love that brought Anna and Samuel together, for Jithesh, it was after his marriage to Saranya that they ended up in the same company at Nest in Technopark, Thiruvananthapuram.
“The fact that she is always with me makes me happy. We arrive to office and leave together. I am always available for her. What more do I need?” says Jithesh who tied the knot a few months back.