The conflict that can arise when blending two households has supplied rom-com material for as long as there’s been movies and TV. Deciding to take your relationship to the next level and get married or move in together is a life-altering decision. There’s a lot to consider and so much more if you both work from home.
Are you and your partner considering co-habitation? Have you recently moved in with your significant other and are struggling to make working from home work?
Lady Pinzón, a Bunny Studio Mid Full Stack Developer, has been living with her boyfriend in Bogotá ,Colombia for several years. Since they are both remote workers and successfully make working from home together work, we asked her to share her best advice about how to co-work with your partner.
What is the hardest thing about working remotely with your significant other?
In the beginning, there is a learning curve. Your partner may have little quirks or habits that only come out while they are working. For instance, Lady learned that her boyfriend tends to whistle and drum his hands on his desk while working. This, along with very different music tastes, led to some challenges for the couple early on. Happily, they have been able to sort out any initial hurdles and offered us the following tips for a successful work-at-home relationship.
Tip #1 Be Patient
You love your boo, right? You love spending time together. Sharing a workspace should just be an extension of your fantastic relationship. Shouldn’t it? Why is working from home any different than any other together time?
The reality is that our work selves aren’t always who we are in our personal lives. Lady learned that while her boyfriend is deep in his work or brainstorming, he tends to make noises that she initially found very difficult to tolerate. She says that working from home together just takes patience and a willingness to accept your partner’s unique work personality.
Tip #2 Respect Each Other’s Productive Time
The decision to work from home with your partner is an easy one, on the surface at least. We are talking about your best friend, your favorite person on the earth. The more time together, the better, right? Of course, but we all need uninterrupted time for productivity.
It can be tricky when you have such easy access to your life partner and sounding board. When something funny, challenging, or rewarding happens during your workday, it can be tough to keep it to yourself. Lady and her boyfriend have found that respecting the time when your partner is most productive is essential to successfully work from home together.
One thing that really helps with respecting your partner’s productive time is defining your workspaces. Not all of us have a home large enough for two home offices. Therefore, it is vital to determine your workspaces. Successful co-work with your partner will include compromise.
If you don’t have enough space for each of you to be closed off, you might consider designating a conference call or zoom meeting space. Lady pointed out that couples whose jobs require lots of online meetings can end up struggling to speak over each other all of the time without separate rooms. As you can imagine, this could cause conflict.
But it only takes care about one another to make the sacrifice of perhaps leaving the office if you know you’re having a difficult meeting or vice versa.
Have a Schedule
If you work from home with your significant other, you must have work schedules. Now, you might think to yourself, “but not having a schedule is the best part of remote work.” For many of us, that is true. However, it will be nearly impossible to work from home with your partner without a schedule.
Lady and her boyfriend find that knowing each other’s schedule allows them to prepare. It makes it easier to respect your partner’s productive time and lets you plan for your together time (the best time of the day, right?).
Enjoy One Another
While trying to work from home with your significant other certainly comes with trials, Lady feels that we should focus more on the privilege. Many couples that work separately struggle to find enough time for each other. Some even work in different cities or have long commute times that eat away at the time they should have for each other. When working from home presents trying times, remember to be grateful for this an opportunity that many couples would die for will never have.
What is the best thing about working remotely with your significant other? Final thoughts from Lady
When asked to sum up the best thing about being able to work from home with her boyfriend, Lady let us in on the big secret of couples working together. Despite the tips about having a clearly defined workspace, schedules, and boundaries, you still have immediate access to your best friend when it comes down to it.
She said, “So it’s very cool to have a person by your side who can listen to you and have another point of view. We love to spend so much time together! To be able to kiss or hug your loved one any time of the day, it’s amazing.”
Let’s be honest, sometimes you just need a hug. While that isn’t usually appropriate in the workplace, it is undoubtedly the number one perk of working from home together!