How to Work in a Shared Home Office

How to Work in a Shared Home Office

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Working in a home office is difficult enough, but when you add your spouse or partner, it can be really challenging. However, if you establish some rules and boundaries, it can be done.

Here are some tips to help you get it together and work together without losing your mind.

1. Establish Boundaries

If you have separate email addresses, you need your own space. It doesn’t have to be separate rooms, but at least have different desks or work surfaces. Perhaps, arrange the office so that your spouse isn’t in your direct line of site.

Clear boundaries will alleviate the “what about my stuff” argument. Corporations have clear boundaries for desk space for very good reasons – like keeping the peace.

2. Communication is Key

If you have a conference call, make sure your “office mate” knows. Set up an agreement around meeting and phone call protocol. Better to do this before the fact, avoiding argument awkwardness during a 50-line conference call!

Or, perhaps use a dedicated area for calls so that you don’t disrupt your partner. Call rooms have been making their way into corporate offices for a reason.

3. Separate Files and Organization Systems

Keep your paperwork separate, in whatever system you choose. Make sure you can find it when you need it. You don’t want to lose track of your important report because your spouse mixed it into their messy papers.

It might seem redundant to have two of certain items, but it’ll make work a lot less stressful if you always know where your stapler is and don’t have to get frustrated at your partner for misplacing it.

People work differently as well. Your partner may be a disorganized worker and you may be organized. Trying to create a system that you both like will be tricky. However, allowing yourselves two separate systems that you can personalize how you need will help keep the peace.

4. Have Some Understanding.

Working together can be a lot of fun, and if you are prepared it will be even better for everyone. You’re both working hard, you both deserve a great place to work. Don’t fall into the trap of letting one spouse tell the other that their job is more important so that they need a better space. You should both respect and show some understanding for each other.

Remember compassion and understanding, and everyone will be happier in the long run!

Do you have some tips for sharing an office space with your partner? Share with us in the comments below!

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