During this pandemic, being able to have work and have the opportunity to work from home is lucky for many people. Work from home at first sounds very comfortable and happy, but in reality, due to work, there are inconveniences that arise that not nobody understands. And especially, for couples who live together, “work from home” is not as simple as you think. To work effectively and help your relationship get over all the challenges of working from home, please refer to the following tips in Fika’s article.
It will be alright if we feel uncomfortable with your partner
Indeed, having a job and working from home at this time is a blessing during the pandemic. But, social distancing isn’t inherently rosy, so during “work from home” many things can happen that make you feel uncomfortable. And if you live with your lover together, it’s even more difficult.
Working from home with your partner is not always as exciting and romantic as you imagine. Daily routine hours may be the same, but no one can guarantee that your work schedule will also match. Not to mention, the working styles and nature of work both of you can be completely opposite to each other.
You may be an office worker who has to work during office hours and needs a quiet space. At the same time, your lover is a freelancer who often solves work at midnight or does something about art and needs to find inspiration. Working from home can also be when your lover is indifferent and keeps coming in – out a few times to show you an online meme, while you are trying to write an important email to your partner. And at this time, you will feel that being together is pretty fun, but working is not so much fun like that.
But that’s okay if you feel uncomfortable. We all know that no one wants to be stuck at home for such a long time and no one wants to have a conflict with someone they love. We are all pushed out of our comfort zone and all face problems while trying to adjust to reality. Accept this reality and remember, you and your partner are a team, both of you must find a way to fight the pandemic and settle down together, not turn each other into enemies!
Tips to avoid conflict when working from home for couples
Try the following suggestions from Fika to focus on working better and still be able to live in “peace” with your lover!
1. Unify working hours together
Even if you are at home and not at work, even if no one is watching you, it is still a good idea to maintain your daily work schedule. You should discuss with your lover about the working time frame, set your own rules so as not to disturb the other person, and above all, adhere to and respect the set schedule. If on that day, you have an important meeting or need a quiet place to solve challenging tasks, please note your lover in the morning, or you can stick a do-not-disturb memo/notice to have the most efficient workspace.
Also, remember that though your working time is over, it doesn’t mean that your lover is done. It will be annoying and distracting if someone tries to handle the end of the daily tasks, while the other is lounging around watching TV or doing housework.
2. Separate workspace
For many people, the fact that the two of you work together and smile at each other, tease each other a little under the table is a very romantic prospect. However, work is not a romantic thing, and when we work, we need more seriousness. Not to mention, sharing a workspace can distract you from work.
When working, The regulation of distance also applies spacing for both lovers. If possible, the two of you should arrange your work area in separate rooms. Although you should not use the living room or kitchen to work, even if the two of you are too short of space, it is still better to work in those places than both of you in the same room. And if in the worst situation that you both have to share a desk, try to divide the boundaries between the two of you and try not to disturb the other. Use headphones to listen when working, stay away when you have a call, and don’t cross the other person’s boundaries too much.
Setting boundaries is one thing, respecting them is another important thing. Together agreed on what should and should not do during working hours. You can also set aside time together to take breaks to reduce stress and have more freedom. If taking a break together sometimes becomes overwhelming for you, then taking a break alone to restore energy is not a bad thing. Please explain to your partner so that you both understand each other better!
3. Set aside work and spend quality time together after work
When working at home, you usually tend to overwork or procrastinate. When discussing and agreeing upon a working hour, two of you should stick to the plan. Close your laptops and work files, spend time connecting to each other. Once agreed, you will be motivated to finish the work in a certain time frame instead of procrastinating. And instead of having dinner with your loved one, you bury yourself in work to meet the deadline due to procrastination.
Even if the two of you live in the same house and are only 10 feet apart, let’s try dating seriously like before the pandemic. For example, you can ask your lover to watch a movie at 10 o’clock tonight. Preparing and scheduling a date in advance will help both of you proactively arrange your work so that you won’t be distracted when you’re together.
4. Understand and accept that your partner may be a different person at work
When both of you have the opportunity to be together while working, you will realize that the nature of the work and the people at work may not be what you think. You may be surprised to see your lover scrolling through social media all morning without realizing that it’s part of the nature of their job. Or you may find out that your partner doesn’t know and can’t stand your work listening music habits, and has to compromise that you should wear headphones so as not to interfere with each other.
People often say that you will never get to know someone well unless you live with them. But even if you live together, and you both spend more time at the office than at home, you can’t fully understand what the other person looks like in the work environment. Please accept and sympathize even if the person’s image is different before and after the pandemic. That person may have been very cool in your eyes before, but when you work from home together, you will realize that everyone will have ups and downs and stress. When possible, more or less, we all act a little in front of others, just wanting to show off our good sides. Think that now, accepting and getting to know a different side of each other will make the relationship stronger.
5. Redistribute household chores
If the household chores were divided according to the schedule before when there was no pandemic, now, both of you should agree on these things together again. The timetable when “work from home” will no longer be the same as when you go to work in person. You can be busier or have more freedom. Please divide these tasks to suit both of you ability and time. For example, you usually will be the one to cook the rice, but now if your lover has more time, you can take turns doing it.
6. Let’s create healthy habits together
This is an excellent time for both of you to urge each other to change bad habits. You don’t have to put your head into working 5 times your capacity and then burn out. Set up reasonable breaks together, get up early to exercise before starting work, or prepare healthy lunches together, for example. You can also remind each other if your partner skips meals, takes too many stimulants, or does light exercise after sitting too much. After the pandemic, the two can form good habits that will also go up in love.
7. Communication is key. Remember we are in love!
No matter what happens, remember that communication is the key to everything. You should not suffer silently but frankly talk to each other about the problems that arise when working to make amends. Of course, since the two of you are lovers, don’t attack like an outsider or accumulate anger and then break up. For example, if the person is too noisy, instead of going into the bathroom stubbornly and slamming the door, you can simply say your request. “Can you put on headphones for me?” it’s a simple and effective way to let the other person know you should put on headphones. The two of you at the end of the working day can also sit down to talk about this issue and make it an agreement to follow.
When working, both should also bring the attitude of colleagues to be more subtle in the way of communication. In normal life, you can freely talk to your lover, but when working, we should be more attentive. When you have something to interrupt, you should ask your lover if there is time to talk to you instead of just rushing into the room and talking about other things. Communicating with lovers will be easier than communicating with colleagues. You could tell them that you’re “busy for a bit, can we talk later?” without having to worry too much about resentment or awkwardness like when talking to colleagues.
Working from home may be a daunting experience for many couples. Empathy is key to helping both of you get through this phase. The two of you are not only lovers but are now colleagues as well. We’ve never been through these times before, and we’re all dealing with so many different emotions. Be patient with yourself and with the person you love. Just remember that you’re both doing the best you can, and the rules you have to put in place right now will only be temporary.
Fika hopes that the above article will provide you with more helpful information so that you can spend a peaceful “work from home” season with your lover!