Are you and your partner now working from home together due to the pandemic? If so, you’re not alone. While you may find yourselves navigating your shared workday with ease, it’s also normal to encounter friction.
If this friction is escalating, examining how you and your partner arrived at a point of conflict is an important first step towards resolving the underlying problem. But even if you and your partner are merely sweating the small stuff, you will both benefit from taking a few simple steps to make the best of the situation.
5 Tips for Better Relationships
This might be the most challenging period of your lifetime if you and your partner are dealing with the stress of working from home together in an uncertain world. Couples who have children face the additional challenge of having to homeschool alongside their work obligations.
Before you implement the tips in this article, sit down with your partner and list all the challenges you have encountered together up to now. For each one, take a moment to discuss how it affected your relationship and how resolving it made you stronger.
Tip 1: Maintain Separate Workspaces
Being around your partner 24-7 can be such a challenge! What also makes the situation tough is that people naturally need different levels of autonomy and closeness. The sameness of always sharing each other’s space can lead to arguments because not only are you and your partner feeling anxiety and loss of control, you’re also stepping on each other’s feelings!
Couples can start by discussing how and when to divide the space into separate areas of autonomy for each person. Work with each other, not against each other! A little giving goes a long way.
Your partner needs as much space as you do. Having said that, it would be best to create separate workspaces for each one. This allows your partner to have some alone time to themselves and create a mental safe space for them to breathe, think and also work. Just like an office set up, there are boundaries as to maximize effectiveness and efficiency in work.
Remote work is challenging especially for people who aren’t used to it so it’s also important to factor that in. Extra adjustments and understanding are needed to come up with a unanimous understanding of a personal workspace that works best for the both of you.
Tip 2: Keep Your Own Routines
There are regular routines you do as a couple, perhaps like having breakfast together or working out, and that’s normal in any healthy relationship. But just as both partners are in a relationship, it’s also important to establish yourself individually. Just as it is when both are outside in the world doing your own thing, the same should be done within the comforts of your home.
In most cases, couples working from home aren’t doing anything radically different to those couples who work in traditional office settings. However, not all couples are the same. Some like spending a lot of time with each other while others value their independence and like to do certain things and routines by themselves.
It’s important to prioritize moments away from each other, even when you’re both working from home. Allowing each other space will strengthen your relationship! Don’t be afraid to individually connect with family and friends on Zoom or whatever tool you use. You don’t always have to be present together for every conversation!
Go over the list you and your partner made. Perhaps you can find something that he or she would prefer to do alone.
Tip 3: Schedule Work Time and Downtime
Don’t forget to plan your day, and encourage your partner to do the same. When doing so, don’t just schedule work times as well as order and prioritize your individual tasks. Do something that even many stalwart time management gurus neglect to do: schedule time to relax!
Doing this will eliminate the chaos from your relationship as you work and play side by side. Do your scheduling ideally at last the evening before the actual day. Each morning, sit down with your partner and give him or her an overview of your routine for the day.
Now that you are both informed of each other’s schedule, you can reduce conflict by simply avoiding the living room when your partner is using it for an important call. You can also find small windows of opportunity to connect with your partner during the day when you know your presence won’t be an interruption of a scheduled event or task.
If it seems counterintuitive to “plan” for relaxation, remember that many people actually forget to relax or do something they enjoy if they don’t set time aside for it. Particularly in a work-from-home setting, it’s all too easy to get swept into working non-stop. After all, work is always available! In the end, however, overwork is disastrous both for your mental health and your relationship.
Tip 4: Be Patient
Working from home with your partner during a pandemic – or anytime – presents challenges. Don’t make the situation worse by nitpicking. By taking the time to get to know each other, you will be able to discuss the tough situations that you are facing. You can also use these times to get to know one another by answering their questions and helping them with their problems.
Truly happy couples – the kind that stay together for decades – play straight with each other. They focus on the positive, not the negative, don’t hesitate to say “thanks” for the small favors their partner does for them throughout the day. And they are generous with their praise. This is the key to living in harmony with your partner when you’re both working from home.
Couples working from home have some of the same challenges that others do when they are looking for love and this can be a very stressful situation for both of them. That’s why this communication issue can help the two of you be able to become closer and to one another.
Relationships, ideally, can be sources of strength and rejuvenation if you and your partner cultivate healthy boundaries.
Tip 5: Communicate
Communication is necessary when you work from home and you need to be able to connect and relate to one another. It is important to know what is happening in your partner’s life so that you can understand where they are coming from. This way you can better understand what their intentions are when they are working on a particular issue.
As tough as working from home together can be, it’s also a chance to increase your emotional intimacy with your partner. Couples should try experimenting with shared activities that can possibly help them view each other in a new light. Truth is that even outside of lockdown, connectedness is something all couples need to work in the course of a healthy relationship.
Being honest with your partner about these unusual times – as well as about the small stuff that comes up when you’re in close quarters with him or her – is the magic glue that will hold the relationship together and give you and your partner a sense of fulfillment in the midst of stress and uncertainty.
Even though the situation is stressful, couples can kindle the fires of kindness and be extra patient to nurture their relationship for the long run.
For many partners working together from home during the pandemic, this will be a defining social moment in their relationship. It’s a challenge, but also an opportunity to discover things about each other that are essential elements of the future you’ll have together.
It is important to remember that even if you’re in a relationship with someone, they are still individual beings, with their own sets of beliefs, routines and feelings.
Communication is an integral aspect of any relationship, whether it be dealing with problems or enjoying time together. Incorporating the tips in this article can certainly enhance your sense of intimacy with your partner as well as provide insight into your strengths as an individual. We wish you luck and above all, persistence!