7 tips to survive working from home with your spouse

Workers across the country share a new office with a new coworker – their partner.
Working from home with your partner can be fun for a few days (Lunch dates! Early dinners without commuting!), But it could become a strain on your relationship after a while.
“The central task of any marriage is managing differences,” said Anthony Chambers, a couples and family psychologist and academic director of the Family Institute at Northwestern University.
“Couples who are together 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, any difference can increase. A lot of times, when we stay away from each other for eight to 12 hours a day, that helps manage those problems.”
Recognize the change
This is not going to be easy. There is a reason why we are told not to mix business with pleasure.
Take a minute to recognize the challenges you might face and solve a routine, Chambers suggested.
“Being together now 24/7 can be very damaging,” he said.
Have a morning scrum
Now is the time to communicate … often.
Take a few minutes each morning to review the day before and review today’s schedule, recommended Melanie Katzman, a business psychologist.
“Discuss what worked yesterday and what didn’t, what’s on the schedule for today and ask, ‘How can I help you succeed today?’ or “what do you need from me?” he suggested.
Avoid the bedroom during working hours.
If possible, try to work in separate spaces and avoid installing a tent in the bedroom.
“The room should be a place to just chat, sleep, or be romantic,” said Kathy Marshack, a psychologist in Oregon. “You want it to be more of a family and couple space. It is not your workspace.”
Have a designated “Do Not Disturb” location
There is nothing worse than being interrupted when you are on a roll with a project or have to really focus to meet a deadline.
Identify workspaces or times of the day where you need absolute focus and prohibit any distractions.
At the same time, find ways to demonstrate that you are available for interruption. For example, sitting at the dining room table could mean you’re dealing with emails and other lighter tasks that can handle a pause, while the closed office door means don’t disturb.
Don’t treat your spouse like a coworker
You may share an office, but don’t treat your spouse as your job coach, Katzman advised.
Even if you miss brainstorming with colleagues or turning to your office mate to talk about discomfort on the last conference call, don’t just turn to your spouse.
Chances are you’re already sharing additional housework and childcare chores, don’t add workloads on top of all that (plus it’s good to keep in touch with your colleagues).
“It can almost add too much pressure if you expect your spouse to be the only source of everything,” added Chambers.
Have a keyword
Things will get difficult. There will be good days and bad days. To help mitigate any damage if he feels like he’s about to explode, Katzman suggested having a keyword indicating that he needs a break.
“It could be an inside joke or a keyword to point out: ‘I’ve had it, I can’t even speak, I’m about to explode,'” he said.
Blame ‘Frank’
We could all use a scapegoat these days. So why not create an imaginary one to avoid pointing fingers?
“Blaming an imaginary coworker or house staff like: ‘I can’t believe XXX hasn’t taken the dishes out of the dishwasher!’ or ‘XX is such a noisy worker!’ it breaks the tension, “Katzman said.
“Break the tension, it’s okay to laugh. We can’t be in constant overdrive.”


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