April 20, 2023

Remote workplace turns life mates into workmates

In the post-pandemic world, many more employees are working from home instead of commuting to an office.

Among other things, the coronavirus health crisis showed some companies many of their employees were still productive working from home using remote technology, along with some other unexpected advantages.

In the past two years, remote workers generally reported less stress and improved morale and took fewer sick days.

Today, many employees now actively pursue jobs allowing home or hybrid work schedules. As of December 2022, 26% of U.S. employees worked remotely at least part of the time, four times the pre-pandemic total. Some analysts believe that number could rise as high as 35% by 2025.

Inevitably, that means there will be many two-income households where both partners work at home - at least part of the time. It’s a complex situation, combining spending more time with the one you love with the more serious aspects of work.

Working in the same home with your spouse will require some flexibility. The ability to work well with another person is usually acquired over time. That’s where couples might have both an advantage and a disadvantage.

The home is often a haven from our “work personalities,” where we can be free to criticize co-workers without fear. Our spouse/partner becomes our sounding board, confidant, and psychiatrist.

This is one part of working together that might take some getting used to. To be successful, it is important to wear the “employee hat” during work hours.

Those who harp on their spouse’s job performance may be in for a rude awakening. Couples who are quick to argue might not be the best office mates. One must use the same degree of restraint they would use in an office.

Learn to separate your business life from your professional life. Focus on the house, the kids and each other. If caring for children is part of the equation, you might have to stagger work hours. You might even be better served finding a suitable daycare or babysitter.

For people with smaller homes, sharing office space probably makes sense. But if you can, find work areas you can truly call your own. Spouses have a way of distracting each other.

Working in the same place as your spouse or partner can be a profitable experience, provided you can set up some boundaries of both time and space. At the very least, developing consistent set hours should lead to more work harmony.