Work with me, Babee!
In an earlier post, Conference Call Do’s and Don’ts, I mentioned my spouse works from home one day a week. This is different from my work, which I do at home every day. Working at home has unique challenges and contrary to popular belief, isn’t all about wearing your jammies and quitting every day by 4 p.m. to watch Oprah. So what happens when you mix two different personality and work styles in a small home office?
In our case, it wasn’t pretty at first. I heard things like, “you can’t type while I’m on a call.” “Uh, well I have to type – I’m a WRITER,” was my dumbfounded response. Having a touch of adult ADD (hey, don’t we all?), my spouse was very easily distracted, so most anything I did would break his concentration. I admit his presence in what I considered to be my office kind of cramped my style, too. Hey, sometimes a girl has to take a break to shop on Nordstrom.com.
I’m happy to say that over a year later, we’ve achieved a co-habiting work plan that is effective for both of us. Here are some tips:
* A separate work area is critical. My husband eventually moved to another room to his own space and can close the door as needed.
* Respect privacy – knock on the door and also ask if okay to interrupt.
* Work flow patterns should be recognized. Your way isn’t the only way to work.
* Communicate about quitting times. If you expect your partner to be done and able to play at a certain time, you need to discuss it.
* If possible, take a coffee or lunch break together. Isn’t it nice to hang out with your partner in the middle of the workday?
This is a guest post by Nancy LaFever. You can read more from her at the Centre for Emotional Wellbeing blog.