Working in a home office? Not that bad. Surviving working with bae from the same office? Drastically different. Many of us have different routines when we work, and adding a spouse or partner to that circumstance can prove to be difficult. Here are the ultimate ways to survive working at home around your significant other, without adding strain to the relationship.
Working in different areas
Even if you don’t have the luxury of a second room in your house, working from different designated areas will allow you to be more productive. If you’re working in different areas, you won’t be as frustrated with each other, nor tempted to procrastinate. If you’re fed up with your co-worker during the day, when it’s time to socialize with them afterwards, you’ll both be irritated and no fun to hang out with.
It’s incredibly easy to get distracted. Whether someone is tapping their feet, humming, or typing loudly, it’s enough to make you want to strangle the person across from you. To save your relationship, invest in a pair of headphones. Another perk? You don’t have to listen to the other person’s bad music taste and get to be enveloped in your lovely, noise-cancelled little bubble.
Set an alarm clock for leisure time
When the day is done, it’s done! No more stressing – you can vent to your partner about your co-worker – oh wait, they’re the same person now. When the work is done, both of you should put away the laptops, turn off emails, and get into your cozy clothes, making the switch from professional to domestic.
When the other person is getting on your nerve, instead of taking a coffee break (because they’ll still be there for that) take a walk. It’ll give you some space from the person next to you who you’ve been surrounded by 24-hours a day. This will make you feel more positive throughout the day and provide some much-needed alone time.
Your love is strong
Remind yourself that you’re in love with this person, even through the little annoying moments. Sure, you might be exposed to some aspects of them that are new pet peeves, but none of us are perfect, and consider that your partner may not be the only guilt one in this aspect.
If you work different hours, respect them
There’s nothing worse than having your partner vacuuming during a Skype conference, or making some other noise that causes you to miss calls. If you’re not working at the same hours, make sure that you’re respecting each others’ professional space. Don’t ask your partner to do errands or chores just because they’re home, as their home is transformed into their office at that time. It’s all about boundaries, people.
Stop talking about COVID-19
With COVID-19 taking over the news cycle, our social media feeds, and more, a general mood of anxiety and stress has been created. It is essential to stay up to date, but limit your exposure to fear-mongering info on this pandemic, because focusing on it too much will make working from home with your partner even more overwhelming. After your work, indulge in a Netflix binge or have a living room dance party – most importantly, stop over-worrying!.
If you have kids, share responsibility with them
Instead of hassling each other to get all those pesky chores done, enlist your kids! Most children are not in school during the coronavirus pandemic, so instead of worrying about entertaining them, show them the value of hard work. You provide them with love, shelter, and food during this time, so the least they can do is take out the trash, walk the dog, do laundry, or at the minimum, make shopping lists. If you don’t have kids, divide chores evenly.
Listen to your concerns and have a mental health check-in
Discuss how you feel about working from home together. What’s working? What’s not working? Are there any important deadlines for your significant other to be aware of? Clear conversations are helpful, and never brush aside the concerns of your partner. Listen to their anxieties (this is an anxious time for everyone) and validate them! This will calm them down – acknowledgment is everything, as is a willingness to change behaviour for the person you love.
Be grateful for your privilege and fortune
Not everyone has the opportunity to work from home during this time. For couples that don’t live together, they’re forced to be apart for weeks. For couples who do, they might not get to work from the safety of their homes during COVID-19. Consider the lives of healthcare workers, truck drivers, cashiers, and the other members of our society who put themselves at risk for the benefit of the greater public. If the biggest sacrifice we have to make is working from home and getting annoying with our loved ones, we have it pretty good.