Increasingly individuals are working from home as remote work becomes more common. And it stands to reason that many newly minted remote employees are part of a pair that also works from home.
So, what is the key to successfully working from home with your husband or partner?
When you and your spouse both work from home and want to be productive, there are certain fundamental standards to follow.
We have a few survival strategies whether you’re working from home with your spouse in the next room, or if you’re sharing a home office, and you’re spending all day together, as when you’re on vacation as a pair.
Choose the best time to get out of bed
This may be one of the most crucial issues to address when you first realize you’ll be working from home as a pair.
Wake-up times were definitely non-negotiable while you and your partner were both commuting to offices, workplaces, or work locations. You most likely had a system in place for who woke up first, how long the other got to sleep in, and whether you both set alarms or simply one of you did.
Create Separate Workspaces
Set up separate home offices in various locations of your home if you work for multiple firms (or even if you don’t). Set up these workstations on various levels if feasible.
This guarantees that you each have a specific office for your work equipment and that you have a quiet or semi-private location to focus on your responsibilities.
Establish and adhere to office hours
Post your chosen office hours outside your home workstation and practice respecting your partner’s office hours. The less interruptions you both experience, the more likely it is that you will complete your workday on schedule. If you’re both managing home, work, and children, consider switching your work hours so that you have more coverage for housework and childcare.
Choose a time for lunch
Now that workplace calendars are gone, the only thing left to define the day are meetings and when your team, coworkers, or customer expects you to be accessible.
Will you share a ‘lunch’ or snack throughout the day? Will each individual eat whenever they are hungry, or will mealtime be a time for you both to relax?
Finally, who does the cooking, and where does the ordering come from?
Keep business and pleasure separate
The golden rule for working from home with your partner is to divide business and personal life. This, however, is easier said than done, especially when working from home. Setting appropriate limits is important for sustaining a peaceful relationship. Boundaries include the following:
Working hours Set regular work hours and try to keep to them as much as possible. This will keep you from working when you should be concentrating on your lover. Setting a no visit policy during work hours might also help you avoid disturbing each other throughout the day.
Work outside of business hours should be limited. When you work from home, you may check your email, answer phone calls, and follow up on assignments whenever you choose. Limit the amount of work you perform in your personal time so you can focus on your partner.
Personal conflicts should be kept to non-work hours. While it may be challenging, you both owe it to your professions to focus when you’re working. Make a commitment to address personal issues outside of work hours.
Choose a lighting setup that works for both of you
Everyone is unique, so when it comes to the home office that you share, discuss your options together. Some individuals like natural light, while others prefer fluorescent lighting (which is why offices use it – to reduce shadows).
If you’re anything like us, you’ll put on the same soft light bulbs every night and never touch the track lights or chandelier in your living room. The same is true for the bedroom. But what about working from home?
Other Places to Work Sometimes
To offer your partner more privacy, work away from home at a co-working space or coffee shop on occasion. These trips should be planned and alternated with your companion. You should all get out of your home offices every now and then for a change of scenery and to obtain a new perspective on working at home with your spouse or partner.
Choose to take breaks together, such as stretching or going for a stroll
Who doesn’t look forward to working breaks? We do! We prefer to get moving at break time by doing a little bit of exercise or making a snack.
During the year before we went to travel the world and work remotely, we worked seven blocks apart in Midtown Manhattan and would frequently meet for a break, a hug, or some form of hand-off of whatever the other had left at home by mistake that morning.
Are there always breaks while you work in the same room or behind the same door in the same apartment or house? Can you talk over each other?
Participate in Discussions
Working might leave little time for discussion during dinner. Maintaining personal contacts outside of work, on the other hand, is critical. Recognize that even if you appear to spend every waking second together, there may be more to discover about each other. Strong connections need effort. To have a healthy home life, you must clock out of your job and clock into your personal connection.
Make plans for dinner and a dating night
If Dan is juggling many tasks and deadlines, I’ll start cooking supper for both of us. Or, if I have an evening online event (webinars, for example), I’ll ask Dan if he wants to choose what sort of meal to make, and I’ll indicate when I’ll be ready to eat.
Date night is not extinct now that you can work from home! Date night may still happen on any day of the week, and some possibilities include surprising your spouse with a new meal, listening to some new unknown music, or opening a couple of beers for some time to get work out of your brain.
Encourage Each Other
Be each other’s accountability buddy when working from home with your partner. By holding each other accountable for meeting goals, you can maximize your time and increase the quality of your work. When things get hectic, help each other by picking up the slack. Listen to each other’s needs and challenges, and be there to counsel and support one another.
Hold a career planning meeting where you each define goals and design paths to success as an exercise that can benefit both of your professional trajectories. Post the plans for both of you to see, keep track of milestones, and provide supportive comments. It is always beneficial to have a trustworthy companion on your route to success. Furthermore, seeing someone else working toward a goal may be motivating.