April 7, 2020
We are living in unprecedented times right now. We have been ordered to stay at home for the month of April which means a lot of people will now be working from home. I’ve been working from home for five years now, my office and space where I meet my clients are in my home as well. But my husband, Matt, usually goes into an office. We’ve been social distancing for 25 days now which means he’s been working from home that entire time. Over the last few weeks, we’ve had our ups and downs with working from home together but we finally have it down! We’ve created a list of tips that have helped us during this time and we hope this helps you too.
Special note: we currently do not have children. I cannot even imagine how to balance kids at home at this point too. All the praise and respect to the parents out there who are supporting their families during this time. Y’all are amazing!
Share Your Work Hours
Determine each of your work hours. It can be distracting if one of you is coming and going and the other one needs to focus. By communicating daily about what your work hours will be, you can better prepare for the day ahead.
Give Yourself Alone Time
You can love each other to pieces, but you still need alone time to keep your sanity. At least an hour a day, spend time on your own. This can be working on a project by yourself or taking a little break alone. You’ll be better together if you give yourself that daily space.
Work Hours & Relaxing Hours Stay Separate
When working from home, it’s easy to let work and play hours blend together. This can be super frustrating to your partner if they are thinking it’s time to relax and you still want to work. This is where sharing your work hours for the day comes in handy. This helps your brain separate when it’s time to work and when it’s time to play.
Determine Your Workspaces
Maybe you’ll be working in separate rooms or maybe you don’t have that choice. By creating dedicated spaces for each person, you’ll feel a sense of ownership and pride for your area. Then it doesn’t feel like you’re coming into your partner’s space and messing everything up. Matt and I actually have both of our desks in the same room. But if one of us needs it quiet or has to jump on a call, the other will take our laptop and work from the dining room table.
Take a Break
Just like working in an office, give yourself time to reset and refocus. Maybe it’s grabbing an afternoon snack, going for a quick walk around the block, or pausing to practice some deep breathing – this tip is helpful for anyone. You can use your breaks to connect with your spouse too. Maybe enjoy a snack or a walk together – unless it’s your alone time. :)
They Are Working Too
Just because you’re home and/or your partner is home too, doesn’t always mean they are available. They still have to work. You still have to work. If one of you is done working for the day, you cannot just pull your partner away to have a little fun or help you with housework. Again, this is where being open with your work hours will help.
Headphones Are Your Best Friend
I like working in silence. Matt likes working with music or a video on. If I have to concentrate on something, I ask Matt to wear his headphones. If I don’t, I’m open to having some music on. Just be honest with each other without being rude to each other.
Respect Each Other’s Boundaries
You might have a different working style than your partner. You might have specific needs for your workspace. Either way, be respectful to how your partner works best. It might mean you work happily and peacefully in the same room for 8 hours a day. But more likely, you’ll need time to separate, take breaks, and practice some alone time. Give yourself and your partner grace during this time. Be open to sharing how you’re feeling and be open to listening.