Hands up who’s suddenly working from home with a partner thanks to what the oldest is now calling ‘stupid coronavirus’?
With the nation advised to work from home where possible I’m betting there’s a fair few of you – and I’m also willing to bet you’ll experience a few hiccups along the way.
Misery Guts and I have both been working from home together since he left his job as a magazine editor to go freelance two years ago, and on the whole it’s been surprisingly plain sailing. That said, there are a few golden rules I’d recommend following – both for your sake and theirs!
So, for anyone who finds themselves suddenly working from home together or with a usually absent significant other suddenly working from home, I thought I’d pen a little tongue-in-cheek guide to how to work from home with your partner and stay sane.
How to work from home with your partner (& stay sane!)
Work in separate rooms
Trust me. Sitting side by side at a table or in the same room is a bad idea. And if you can work on different floors, even better.
Block out excess noise
As well as not being able to see them, make sure you can’t hear them either. Shut all doors and wear earphones or earplugs if necessary, because there is nothing worse than not being able to hear yourself think – especially when they’re talking VERY LOUDLY on the phone.
Don’t offer to make them lunch
Tea or coffee is fine, but not lunch. The quick sandwich you had in mind suddenly becomes a hot dish with sides and fillings cooked a certain way, and you’ll wish you’d never offered. Of course, if they offer to make you lunch that’s absolutely fine!
Don’t clear up after them
The cereal bowl dumped in the sink instead of the dishwasher you’ve just emptied; the empty coffee cups abandoned on surfaces; pens and cables strewn everywhere – it’s not your mess and you’re not the office cleaner!
Especially if they ask to ‘pick your brains’. You can easily lose half an hour of your working day, if not more. Approach any such request with extreme caution.
Remember to say hello
Once you’ve got into the swing of things and established a routine, remember to actually acknowledge the other one is there when going out and coming home again. It can be so easy to go to a lunchtime gym class or pop to the shops without saying goodbye when you leave or hello when you get back again. Of course, depending on how things pan out in the coronavirus stakes this tip may soon be irrelevant as we may not be able to leave the house at all – and Lord help us all then!
Are you and/or your partner working from home in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak? How’s it going? I’d love to hear your stories – good and bad!