Since Charlie and I both have home offices and already work from home a majority of the time, the changes that many couples are currently facing with both partners being in the home for work are a bit different for us.
Over the years (actually decades if you include when we were both in academia and often working from home rather than our university offices), we’ve had to navigate the challenges and conversations about both of us working from home. Let’s just say we’ve had a lot of practice.
- What is work and where does work take place in the home?
- What are our work hours and are they the same or different?
- How do we disconnect from work when it’s time to be done for the day?
- How do we reconnect with each other when we know work is waiting for us just a room away?
If you are among the many who are currently navigating a new work- and home-life reality — and find yourself in a place where the boundaries are blurred, and neither work nor your connection with your partner and family are feeling quite right — trust me, you are not alone.
There are a few steps you can take to help restore a bit of the calm and order you may be yearning for right now:
- Survey yourself: what is and is not working for you in your current work-from-home situation? Some things you might think about include:
- Where am I doing the majority of my work at this time?
- Is this location allowing me to have the space I need to concentrate on the work I need to do?
- Am I feeling distracted by anything in my environment while I’m trying to do my work?
- What is feeling good about the work I am doing from home right now?
- If you sense that your partner is having trouble settling in to their work-from-home situation, consider asking them to do their own individual survey of what is and is not working for them.
- When you are both feeling fresh and in a good sharing space, talk with your partner about your survey and what you realized was and was not working for you, asking for partnership in making some adjustments. The adjustments could be as small as changing the heat setting (even just a degree or two), or more significant, like purchasing a portable room divider that gives you both a sense of your own space. Then do the same for them.
There are many, many more conversations that may be helpful for you and your partner to have in the coming days or weeks, but let’s focus on settling in and adjusting to your new work space today. We’ll have more content coming soon related to those four conversation questions above.