Home working or working at home with your partner, husband or wife is something new that a lot of people are suddenly having to get used to. It can be slightly weird and isn’t always easy if you don’t know how to survive the first few days, weeks and possibly months.
Here are some top tips that should make that transition a bit easier and help make sure you are still together at the end!
- Try to set up separate working areas – no one likes a desk hog at work and it’s even worse when at home and you can’t escape
- Agree working times – it can be hard enough working from home together but even harder if you are on a call and they are blasting out the latest box set on Netflix
- It’s not you, it really is me! – a lot of relationships last because you both have time away from each other for work but now you’re together all day every day, it’s not selfish to need a bit of time with a book, box set, computer game. Neither of you should feel guilty about that
- Multitasking isn’t as easy as it looks – you might think that the TV or the latest game or social media app on your phone isn’t a distraction but there’s a reason you don’t have them at your desk at work. Try to keep your home working environment as professional and like your office working environment as you can
- Collaboration is still key – it can be lonely when you first work at home and don’t meet up in the kitchen for a coffee or nip out to the sandwich van and have a chat. Make use of technology on your phones and computers and set up daily catch ups using Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp. Making sure you keep collaborating is key to make sure the business keeps operating even when you aren’t together
- Find a comfortable chair – that padded, ergonomically designed office furniture at work is no comparison to the hard wood dining room chair and table you are going to be using. Find a comfy chair that you can use or put a cushion on it to help make sure you can still walk properly at the end of the day
- Split your time – we all hate the commute home at the end of the day but it has one use, it cuts off work time from home time. Your new commute is walking downstairs in the morning and upstairs in the evening so it’s easy to let your work and home lives merge. Make sure you still set yourself some deadlines for when it’s time to kick off your shoes and relax
- No one can see me right? – it’s true, you’re working from home and no one can see you so it’s fine to wear PJs isn’t it? Of course it is, but that won’t help you get in the mindset of work. No one is saying you have to sit at your dining table in a suit and tie but try to dress as if you are working, not getting ready for bed and you’ll find that motivation to work a lot easier
- Safe word – let’s be honest, working in the same house over a long time without any space to go out anywhere and relax might mean you start to get on each others nerves. Do they whistle loudly, put the kettle on when you’re on an important call or think it’s ok to walk around like they’re a heard of elephants above your head? A simple silly word that says you need a break because you’re getting annoyed can stop a situation before the argument begins. Use mine if you want, it’s ‘Fuzzle-dust’
- Arrgghhh – so nothing else is working and you both need a release? Do what I do and invent yourselves an imaginary co-worker you can both blame for all those times the cups haven’t been washed up or the toilet seat wasn’t put down. I’ve got Aiden Hayden (@AnnoyingAiden) who could you have?