Why You Should Develop an Office "Bromance"

Office bromances improve morale, increase job satisfaction, boost the bottom line and enhance careers. So go ahead and cultivate one today.

My husband has a boyfriend. No, my husband is not gay, but he is involved in a "bromance."

A bromance, for those of you unfamiliar with such "bromantic" comedies as I Love You Man, Wedding Crashers and anything else in the esteemed Paul-Rudd-Vince-Vaughan-Owen-Wilson canon, is a close platonic relationship between two heterosexual males, according to CNN, the obvious authority on such matters.

I recently realized my husband was involved in a bromance with a co-worker, after years of hearing my spouse mention this co-worker in conversation.  For a while, it seemed like Chris Champine (pronounced sham-pine) was all my husband talked about. It was 'Chris-Champine-this' and 'Chris-Champine-that.' It was…

"I'm going into work early today to meet Chris Champine for breakfast." 

"Chris Champine is a really talented artist."

"Chris Champine and I are working on a script."

"We should have Chris Champine and his wife over for dinner."

Chris Champine. Interesting how close this guy's name is to the word champagne. How romantic!

Chris Champine (left) and Eric Rickstad (author's husband): Don't They Make a Handsome Couple?

As dubious and snarky as I may sound about my husband's relationship with Chris (pictured above, at left), I'm actually grateful for it: Chris gives Eric (my husband, in the ball cap, above) another reason to look forward to work. Chris Champine offers a break in my husband's hectic workday. Chris Champine is a vent, a confidant, and with his film noir looks, a partner in crime. They commiserate with one another and support each other's creative pursuits. (Eric is a writer.)  

If Chris and Eric's experience is any indication, bromances are clearly good for workplace morale. Bromances improve job satisfaction. Bromances make male employees happier and more productive. I would even venture to bet that bromances can boost the bottom line. 

And that's why I believe corporations should actively encourage office bromances. They can do so through mentoring programs, corporate softball teams, company outings to sporting events and tours of micro-breweries. Let a thousand flowers bloom!

Still not sold on the value of office bromances? Well, improved morale isn't the only benefit. Office bromances can also play a critical role in career development. A genuine bromance with the boss, for example, could pave the way for a promotion, distinguish your political power inside your organization, or give you more leverage in salary or budget negotiations.

So strike up an office bromance today! Who will be your Chris Champine?

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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