How to Work From Home With Your Spouse Without Killing Each Other
I’ve been working from home for the last 8 years alongside my husband and it wasn’t always easy. We’re both highly independent and value our private space and time, so working AND living in the same space was tense sometimes.
Over the years we’ve figured out how to make it work so we’re both happy and I can give you a few tips for making it work for you too.
Create a schedule
Know when you’re gonna wake up, go to bed, and everything in between. You’ll be a lot less stressed when you have some structure. But especially make sure your morning routine is solid. It sets you up for the day and puts you in a good mood.
Our AM Routine:
I wake up before Adrien most days and I do my skincare stuff, write, then go into the living room and kitchen to open the blinds and let the sun in. Usually within 30 minutes of me waking up, Theo wakes up and I go in to feed him and do his morning routine with him. Adrien is awake by then so I bring Theo in to our room and they hang out while I shower and finish getting ready. Then we all go to the kitchen while Adrien makes us breakfast and I feed Theo his solids. From here, we’re off to the races!
Get dressed and make your bed
This one sounds obvious but I have to emphasize it! Seriously, do both! You don’t have to dress up, but change out of the clothes you slept in, run a brush through your hair, and put makeup on if that’s your thing. When you work from home, you have to draw a line between your “off” time and work/productive time. And making your bed is ESSENTIAL. Since you work where you sleep, if you leave your room in disarray, every time you pass it, it’ll weigh on you. You need your room to feel like an inviting sanctuary, not yet another mess to clean up.
Be in your own space
Both Adrien and I work in the same space… as in, our desks are about 10 feet apart. When we want to be “alone,” we either wear headphones or one of us will take our laptop into the kitchen and work from there. Set up a temporary workspace in a separate space from your partner, preferably where there’s a door. If you MUST work in the same room, wear headphones and set the expectation that you’re “alone.”
When each of us is working, we actually send a message via Slack or text to see if the other’s available instead of just walking up and potentially interrupting. It sounds a little extra, but it’s important to respect your partner’s workspace and mental space for work when co-existing in close quarters. Make a pact NOT to get upset, annoyed, or offended when your partner is in the zone and not ready to chat! Just because you’re around each other 24/7 doesn’t mean you have to be AVAILABLE to each other 24/7.
Schedule separate times
After we have our whole morning routine including breakfast, Adrien heads to the gym and I put Theo down for his first nap which is when I can knock out my emails and check in with what work I have to do for the day. After he gets back, T wakes up, I feed him, then head to the gym myself or do yoga. Later in the afternoon we give each other space to run solo errands too. Drawing clear lines to make sure you have time for yourself is super important when you work from home together.