Coronavirus is forcing many couples to work from home together, which is really testing their relationships. Instead of both losing your shit, here are seven tips for peacefully coexisting together during this turbulent time:
1. Set boundaries
Because working from home can be too close for comfort for some couples, it’s crucial that you set boundaries from the get-go. Let each other know what’s okay and what’s off-limits. If you both have a lot of Zoom meetings to attend, then you should designate sections of your home that offer some privacy and space for those things.
2. Create a schedule together
Discuss when you both should start working and when you both need to call it quits for the day. While you both don’t need the exact start and end times, it’s beneficial if the times are similar. This will also help with productivity, so you’re not tempted to take endless breaks when there’s a definitive end time.
3. Designate private areas
Part of setting boundaries, as mentioned in tip number one, is designating private areas in your home for simultaneous meetings. And if you don’t have enough room in your home to do that, then sometimes you just have to get creative. This could mean designating a closet as a private office, for instance.
4. Learn to say “no”
Don’t be offended if your partner can’t hang with you. Learn how to communicate straightforwardly with each other, so you both understand when you’re busy. And remember that, during business hours, you’re both together to work.
5. Spend quality time together
It’s important to know when to stop working and disconnect so that you can tune in to your partner and spend quality time together. Instead of zoning out together in front of the TV after work, try a few new things, like cooking, yoga, and playing games.
6. Carve out alone time
With having to quarantine at home, couples are having to spend every hour of the day together. That’s why it’s so crucial for your mental health to carve out some alone time. Find some space throughout the day to engage in solitary activities like reading or drawing. Or even go for a walk alone during your lunch break.
7. Make a date of it
Couples working from home get to date and work simultaneously. Boost you and your partner’s morale throughout the day by engaging in sweet little gestures, like ordering each other pastries and holding hands.
Find the silver lining
While working from home together can be a tricky situation, use this opportunity to really bond as a couple. As long as you establish some boundaries and carve out “me” time as well as couple time throughout the day, working remotely can actually bring you both closer together.
- “How Not to Lose Your Shit When Working from Home with Your Partner,” InStyle, March 19, 2020.
- “You Both Work from Home — Now What?,” Glamour, March 13, 2020.