5 Tips For Working From Home With Your Partner So You Don't Drive Each Other Crazy
While there are many useful tips and tricks for working remotely, many of those are rooted in working from home alone or with younger kids. But what about people in relationships who have to share space with partners? Working from home with another person is tricky to navigate, especially if you both have established habits, preferences, or conflicting methods to think creatively and avoid distractions.
Just like any element of a relationship, coexisting in a work space requires a whole lot of communication and an understanding of the other person's needs. You may feel like your relationship is being tested and your motivation has dropped way more than you'd like, especially if you're only being seen by and seeing one other person all day. Instead of going crazy or risking a fight, keep reading for five tips on ways to refresh your working habits to maximize efficiency to conciously agree on.
Create Independent Work Spaces
Your work environment can directly affect your motivation and creativity, so it's important for you and your partner to both maintain your own identities through your work spaces in your homes. So, agree to configure separate work areas to foster your own ideas in.
This can be as simple as agreeing on someone working at a desk and someone working at the kitchen table, or even distinguishing your spaces with your favorite work essentials like your preferred lighting, the amount of surface space you need, or little things that bring your joy like plants or journals.
Go Over Your Daily To-Do Lists
Keep each other in the loop of your workload and also keep each other accountable. By outlining your to-do lists in the morning before either of you start, you can tangibly see what each other needs to do and can understand the other's responsibilities a bit more. This method also forces you to list out your tasks and have someone to rely on to keep you on track.
Agree on a No-Distractions List
Some of us work best with music or reruns of old shows playing in the background. Some prefer to move around the room to spark creativity or call coworkers or friends to collaborate on ideas. There's no right way to work from home, and we all need to experiment with what works best for us. But the process of finding our work from home groove gets complicated when someone else's quirks and preferences are thrown in.
Come up with a list of things that you both agree are deal-breakers for concentration that will hurt your deep work cycle. No music above a certain volume. No calls on speaker phone. Talk through how to plan ahead to minimize disagreements.
Realize It Is OK to Collaborate Sometimes
Sometimes, working from home is positioned as a very solitary and isolating arrangement, but it doesn't have to be! You may feel the need to distance yourself from your partner for the sake of not getting distracted or wanting to maintain autonomy, but it's definitely OK to realize you need socialization. Your partner may be the only person you see for the day, so take advantage of bouncing ideas off one another for a different perspective and allow each other to vent frustrations about projects and verbalize what you're working on.
Take the Same Break For Lunch
Taking regular breaks while working from home is essential, especially for lunch. It can be easy to get caught up in working through the entirety of the day, but for your own mental health, it's important to stop for moments of self-care. Agree with your partner on a time each of you will break for lunch and enjoy the break together. This could be your opportunity to check in with each other if you're working from separate rooms, to spend a little time together cooking, or you can allot this break as the one where you can sneak in some flirty comments and kissing.