BY LISBETH HOYT, PT & DPT.
I’m by no means a relationship expert. However, in the eight years that my husband and I have been together, this is the longest period of time we’ve spent together without any real separation. I imagine a lot of you are now finding yourself in a similar situation. It might be with your significant other, roommate(s), or even your parents.
We’re learning how to navigate living and working in a space that has been exclusively “home”. Kitchens and living rooms have been transformed into makeshift offices, and standing desks have been created with shoeboxes and textbooks. I’ve set up a yoga mat on my kitchen floor to demonstrate exercises. All of this has been done with our new “coworkers”. Over the last few weeks, I’ve come up with a few tips that have helped me navigate this new work environment.
Create separate working spaces.
You don’t typically work right next to your significant other when following your daily routine so why start now? Set up your own separate workstations and space, in different rooms if you have the option. Unless you work in the same field, you most likely have different workspace needs and setups.
- Set boundaries.
Establish your daily routine and communicate it with those living around you. If your work schedule has stayed mostly the same, communicate that you’re still working the same hours and won’t be available midday.
- Communicate via your usual channels.
If you don’t typically talk to your parents, significant other, or roommate during working hours of the day, it’s ok to continue to do that. Try using texting or email as you normally would during the workday. This will help you both stay focused and not interrupt any workflow you’ve already established.
- Plan to have dinner together at night and talk about your day.
Since there’s no commute, you probably have more time to spend eating meals together. Take advantage of that and schedule a nightly meal to wind down together.
- When all else fails, create a fake coworker to blame the mess on.
Around here “Cheryl” keeps leaving her dishes in the sink and probably needs to have a meeting with HR.