(Fox 32 News) - About 70 percent of Americans with office jobs say they've had a work spouse -- a friend (usually of the opposite sex) with whom they have had a close relationship.
Many say their office mate contributes to a positive workplace environment. But is a work husband or work wife good for your relationship with your real spouse?
"When you have one, psychologists say you will have a happier work life. Because that person has your back," said Bela Gandhi, founder of Smart Dating Academy. "It's a great thing."
Work spouses can take pressure off your romantic partner by listening to your (boring) work stories, Gandhi said.
"This person gets your environment at work, " she aid. "You don't have to explain the back story all teh time."
But there should be boundaries and rules, Gandhi said. First, you should not keep your work spouse a secret from your husband or wife.
"If you have someone you are spending 10, 12 hours with a day at work and this person is partially responsible for your success at work, you should tell your significant other," she said. "If you don't, you have a problem in one or both relationships."
And are you thinking about going out to dinner and doing other non-work activities with your work spouse? Gandhi said be cautious.
"You have to be introspective and self-aware. Are you attracted to the person you are with? Do you feel like you could cross that line? If you do, you better not have dinner with that person."
She also recommends that you try to get your work spouse and real spouse to be friends.
"Absolutely! The more love you have at work and home, the better," she said.