Working From Home With a Significant Other — How to Keep the Peace

Due to COVID-19, more people than ever are working exclusively from home. This means more couples are working from home together for the first time ever. And no matter how much you love your partner…they might not always be the perfect coworker in your work life!

Tensions can rise when you're adjusting to change together, especially when you're spending most — or all — of your time in the house. It's totally normal to feel like you're struggling to balance it all — but don't take it out on your relationship just because your partner is the only person around. If you're adjusting to a co-working situation at home and need a little help keeping the peace, try these 5 tips!

5 Tips for Working From Home With Your Significant Other

1. Give each other space

When you're spending long hours right next to someone else, it can be easy to feel restless or easily irritated. Especially if you're also trying to focus on getting work done. If you and your significant other both have work to do, try to choose designated workspaces in your home. If you have a home office, one person can work there for the day and the other can set up shop at the kitchen table. You're still in the home together, but not sitting in each other's space while you need to focus.

On the flip side — if one of you isn't working while the other one is, it's equally important to communicate and determine when you will need space. No matter your situation, it all comes down to an open dialogue with one another. Remind each other that you will have time together later in the day, but right now, it's work time.

2. Work during work hours

Working from home can sometimes leave the door open to more flexible working hours. Maybe you're meant to work 9-5, but sometimes you pick things back up earlier or later in the day (even if you don't really need to).

Working outside of your regular work hours can interfere with your relationship when you work from home. If you're meant to work certain hours but choose to give time to your job outside of that, you're sacrificing the time you could be spending with your significant other. If you're working outside of designated hours, examine your workflow and ask yourself why it can't get done in your specified timeframe. Do you have too much on your plate? Do you work better at different time? Are you trying to distract yourself with work later in the day?

Assess your situation and find what you need to be successful. If you need to, talk to your boss about your work hours and see if you can find a compromise that works for everyone. But keep your work inside your work hours so you can create a healthy work-life balance. Your partner and your mindset will thank you!

3. Keep your date nights

Schedule regular date nights for you and your significant other! No matter if you're going out or staying home, commit to spending undistracted time together on a regular basis. No work, no devices, no distractions.

If you can't squeeze a full date night into the schedule, try to make time for your partner in other ways. Sitting down for a cup of coffee together in the morning before splitting off for your daily tasks is a great way to connect and share some quiet time.

At the end of the day, what matters is taking that time away from your work to really connect with the other person. Working from home can make you feel like you live at work, unless you set the necessary boundaries and make time for what matters.

Psst! Need some inspo? Check out this list of at-home date night ideas!

4. Communicate!

If tensions feel high or something feels off, communicate with your partner. A healthy relationship requires an open, honest. and ongoing dialogue. After all, nothing can be changed if it's never acknowledged.

Spending a lot of time at home can be tough on your mental health. And when your mental health is being impacted, it can be difficult to give your relationship the time and attention it needs. If you're struggling, talk to your partner about it instead of bottling up your feelings. And if they're struggling, make sure they know they can talk to you. Support each other when things get hard rather than lashing out or shutting down.

5. Take time for yourself

You know what they say about putting on your mask before you help the people around you? That applies to relationships, too.

Prioritize your self-care and be sure to take some time for you every day. You can't give all of your time and energy to the people around you but still expect to feel 100% at the end of the day. Talk to your partner about your need for me-time, and encourage them to take time for themselves as well. A healthy relationship requires those boundaries sometimes — it doesn't mean you don't want to spend time with the other person. Rather, you're working to better yourself so you can be your best for them.

QOTD: What has helped you keep the peace while working from home?

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