If you and your spouse/partner both work from home, you are aware of the particular problems this might pose to your relationship. When working from home, even the strongest relationships will find being together 24 hours a day, seven days a week challenging. The WFH life can be difficult on relationships, from feeling like you’re always on top of one other to having all of your quality time disrupted.
One of the frequently-mentioned drawbacks of working from home is the strain on home relationships, which typically arises as a result of a partner who is physically present but unavailable, and/or who brings work stressors into the home visibly, and/or causes work to bleed into home life beyond expected working hours. The greatest pressure on relationships comes when it forces couples to spend more days together and for longer amounts of time during the day than existed when one or both worked in an office.
To keep the spark alive, the following tips mentioned below are critical to the success of partnerships in which one or both partners work from home, increasing the degree of contact between partners. Moreover, companies that assist their work-from-home employees in understanding and adopting these principles will gain the intended benefits and contribute to the arrangement’s long-term viability.
Working in close quarters, teasing each other in the dining room table while you’re both connected into conference calls, is lovely, but not ideal for, working. Split your home offices if you have enough room in your residence. Ideally, neither of the partners should be stationed in the kitchen, which should be a neutral break place, but if that’s where you have to work, then you have no choice. If you must work in the same area, use headphones, be mindful of noise and distractions, and attempt to carve out distinct spaces for yourself.
Make a conflict resolution plan
Because disputes and irritation are unavoidable when partners work from home, they must determine how to deal with the dissonance. While they may have your own ideas, here are some general principles to help you get started:
- Take deep slow breaths before wanting to lash out. Don’t lash out!
- Make time to talk civilly about differences and issues.
- Prepare by processing your own emotions ahead of time. Consider why you feel the way you do and what you want to achieve from the talk.
- Communicate your emotions to your spouse (try to request rather than complain).
- When discussing difficulties with your spouse, use the pronoun “I” to express how you feel. Avoid using the accusatory “you,” as well as “should.”
- Listen to your partner’s thoughts and points of view, and then ask clarifying questions.
- Create any solutions that are required.
- If the debate becomes too hot at any point, take a break and return to the conversation later.
Maintain a schedule
Even if working from home provides a lot of freedom, attempt to set up your own office hours and communicate them to each other. Attempt to avoid interrupting each other at certain times. Unless absolutely essential, try not to discuss your personal life during work hours. Acting as if one has a 8-to-5 job or setting some other defined schedule for work hours is critical to achieving work-life balance and prioritizing your partner/spouse.
Aside from that fixed timetable, work-from-home partners/spouses should also devise methods for signaling to each other when it is extremely vital not to disturb one another.
Similarly, partners/spouses should each decide how they will plan their workday. Even if only one partner/spouse works from home, it is far more difficult to set a clear stop time and keep to it. Work infiltrates personal lives in some way and they should set a certain time each day that they will commit to doing tasks — determine who is responsible for outside of work obligations. This type of arrangement can help to avoid problematic situations in which one person becomes responsible for all of the household duties. In addition, they should devise some sort of end-of-work ritual, such as going for a walk — preferably together — and calling it quits for the day.
When working from home, invest in childcare
Nothing strains a work-from-home couple’s relationship more than children, especially ones who require daily attention. One of the benefits of working remotely is not having to pay for childcare. As a result, many professionals are hesitant to include such a hefty fee on their monthly account. A part-time babysitter or nanny, on the other hand, might alleviate your childcare strain without breaking the bank. Some couples may not consider the additional strain to their home co-working arrangement to be worth the risk to their relationship. If this fits you, don’t feel bad about hiring someone full-time to replace your working hours or sending your children to daycare for a while.
Don’t make your partner your whole social life
If spouses/partners spend all of their time at home, it’s tempting to solely seek out everything from your partner or spouse. But, even if your wife or partner is also your closest friend, you can’t rely on just one person for everything. So make time for coffee, phone conversations, or video chats with your pals, especially those you’re used to seeing at work and those outside work hours and may be missing now that you’re working from home all the time.
Ask for some alone time
Having two individuals working under one roof is difficult since it drastically limits the amount of alone time each of you has in your house. Even if you spend the bulk of your day at home with your partner/spouse, it’s wonderful to have the entire apartment to yourself every now and again. Try to encourage each other to spend 45-90 minutes alone in the house each day. Give each other permission to request alone time when needed.
Participate in joint hobbies
Endorphins are produced in your brain as a result of new experiences that you both appreciate. Sharing their experiences strengthens connections. Common interests between spouses/partners are more important to a relationship than a strong sexual connection. Select a few activities that fascinate you and explore them together for a powerful bonding experience away from home co-working.
Don’t miss out on sleep
Don’t forget to stick to a regular sleep routine. When we don’t have conventional job or school schedules, it’s simple for work-from-home partners to get behind on their sleep. Getting up at the same time every day, on the other hand, is by far the finest thing you can do for your sleep and personal health. It will also help the both of plan your day better.
Get under the sheets
A recent Oregon State University research published in the peer-reviewed “Journal of Management” revealed that maintaining a good sex life at home increases employees’ job satisfaction and engagement at the office. It was discovered that married couples who also had a regular sex life immersed themselves in their job duties and liked it more than those who did not. This serves as a reminder that sex has social, emotional, and physiological benefits, emphasizing the need of prioritizing it. Although, the findings seem to apply only to the conventional office, nothing could be further from the truth. Regular sex at home will also benefit work-from-home mental and health wellness for spouses and partners, alike. You know what to do!