By now, it would be your third week of working from home and dealing with your significant other in the same room 24/7. Some of you might have had the assumption that working from home is a good thing because it means spending more time together with your loved ones. But that’s not always the case.
I talked to a few of my officemates who are now working from home and living with their partners so that I, a single 23-year-old with no experience in relationships, can get more of an idea on why working from home could cause a strain on relationships. So before anything, know that this is meant to be a totally unbiased report written from the point of view of a single woman who merely watches and listens to many stories of these sorts.
One thing they all have in common is the fact that not being able to come to the office could be a cause of feeling more pressure to get things done. Because of this, you or your partner might have developed some bad working habits such as skipping meals, extended working hours, sleeping late, and more. And since this may be the longest time you’re spending time with your partner in the house, you could be learning new things about them, like how they react to stress or how they talk to different people.
This new set up is giving you no choice but to work under one roof with your partner, so it’s time to set up some boundaries. After all, this is no break from the routine, so work is work.
Before you strangle your partner for being difficult, try to work it out with them with these tips to improve your work-from-home relationship with your significant other. And by the time we can all go back to the way it was before, this guide could also help with how you deal with your coworkers at the office, too.
Set Up Separate Working Spaces
By setting up different working spaces, there exists a clear distinction of when you’re working and not working. Respect each other in that area and do not bother them while they are working. The faster they finish work, the more quality time you can spend with them.
Create A Daily Schedule
A schedule helps you keep track of time and it also maximizes your productivity each day. While it doesn’t have to be a strict schedule, at least both you and your significant other are aware of your tasks daily. As much as possible, try to finish work at a sensible hour so that you and your partner could get some rest at the end of the day.You can also act as each other’s cheerleader or progress checker in between tasks. This way, both of you get to knock off items from your list of daily deliverables. Having a support system of this sort can be extremely helpful when attempting to be productive when navigating the work from home set up.
Assign And Exchange Chores
Somebody has to do the cooking while the other does the cleaning, right? Be fair with assigning chores or do it voluntarily if you see your partner stressing out. In fact, that simple act of washing the dishes shows your appreciation and love for your partner. With the establishing of rules and responsibilities, this will also help set the boundaries when it comes to working at home.
During breakfast, lunch, and dinner, eating meals together could help in handling your stresses and day-to-day existence. It also promotes more sensible eating habits and strengthening your relationship with your significant other. Just as you would do in your office pantry, this break in the work schedule fosters and fortifies a bond more than it has before.
What is the point of living with your partner if you do not communicate? Talk about your responsibilities in the house, talk about your work, talk about what can help you better understand your partner during these difficult times. This quarantine period–for some of us who are lucky enough to stay at home–is an opportunity to learn the different side of your partner. Learn to love and accept the good, the bad, and the new.
Don’t Be Too Quick To Judge
So, you might learn that your partner is that type who fluffs up a meeting with non-related inserts or worse, talks over someone? Or perhaps the few weeks have revealed how high-strung one gets during a stressful situation. Whatever the case may be and whether you agree with it or not, hopefully, the latter, don’t just throw a blanket of judgment over the other and chalk it up to a list of pet peeves. While these are personal coping mechanisms, it is best to sit down and understand why the reaction process is like that, and figure out how best to smooth out these shortcomings before it’s too late, professionally and personally.