Making It Work
We are all caught up in a season where working from home is the new normal and in most cases, we are all trying to balance the new lifestyle. While this pandemic is disrupting work, upending family schedules, and changing by the minute, there is anxiety rising up in relationships across the country – the worry that comes with suddenly being home with a significant other 24/7.
Working from home with your partner might be fun for a few days but it could become a strain on your relationship after a while. Most often the distance from each other on a normal day ascertains differences and helps manage any problems. But here you are, what next?
Here are a few tips to help you build a strong relationship while working from home…
Have A Morning Scrum
Being together 24/7 can be very disruptive. Now’s the time to communicate often. Take a few minutes each morning to evaluate the prior day and review each person’s schedule. Acknowledge the challenges that you might face and figure out a routine.
Discuss what worked yesterday and what didn’t. This will help restructure and help each other in accomplishing the days tasks.
Have A Designated ‘Do Not Disturb’ Place
There’s nothing worse than being disrupted when you are on a roll with a project or have to really focus to meet a deadline.
Pinpoint work spaces or times of the day when you need absolute focus and ban any distractions.
At the same time, find ways to demonstrate you are available for interruption. For instance, sitting at the dining room table could mean you are taking care of emails and other lighter tasks that can handle a pause, while the door to the office being closed means do not disturb.
Avoid Treating Each Other Like Coworkers
You might be sharing an office, but don’t treat your spouse as your work coach, advised Katzman.
Even though you miss brainstorming with your colleagues or turning to your office mate to discuss the awkwardness on the last conference call, don’t just turn to your spouse.
You are likely already sharing added domestic and childcare duties, don’t add work burdens on top of all that and a plus, it’s good to continue to stay in touch with your colleagues.
If you are expecting your spouse to be the one source of everything both physically and emotionally, that can amount to a melt down due to pressure.
Respect Your Partner’s Routines And Roles
Now is not the time to start “helpfully” pointing out how your partner can improve systems that they have already put into place, especially if they’ve been already working at home without you, and especially if they’ve been working at home with kids.
Avoid telling each other one how to do their job
Avoid The Bedroom During Your Work Schedules
Try and work in separate spaces and avoid setting up a work desk in the bedroom. The bedroom needs to be a place where you just chat, sleep or be romantic
Break The Ice
Lastly, there will be good days and bad days. To help mitigate any damage if you are feeling like you are about to explode, have a code word that signals you need a break.
It can be an inside joke that you all understand as time out! Give each other breaks, Speak up when you feel you’re getting to the point of burn-out, not when you’re already there. Take your break, return the favor unprompted, and be aware of what your spouse needs