How to survive when you're both working from home

If the coronavirus doesn't get us, the forced togetherness will

So you love each other, yeah WHATEVER that’s great. But love can only get you so far when you’re both working (and/or taking all your classes) from home because the world is locked down. We’ve scoured the internet and our brains (and we tried to ask you all on Twitter too, but there was a notable lack of responses) to come up with these tips for surviving so much togetherness.

1. Rethink your space if necessary

The living room layout that’s been working for years may not work when you’re both working from home. You may find you need to not be in each other’s line of sight to minimize distraction. Thus, an unused corner, a kitchen table, or a comfy chair in the bedroom may need to become a work station. If you’re working with limited space, you may have to take turns using the areas most suited for meetings (especially if they involve being on video).

2. Utilize headphones

Headphones can give you your own mini office inside your head. Which is great if you don’t have an office in your home or even more than one room for that matter. Headphones are also a really convenient way to signal to your partner that you’re not available for a chat right now.

3. Coordinate meeting schedules

Check in at the beginning of each day about what times your meetings are and where you’ll take them. And if at all possible, coordinate schedules so you don’t have meetings at the same time. Nothing adds fuel to the fire of resentment like having to take a meeting from the bathroom.

4. Discuss preferences for physical touch during the work day

Do you like a little lunch break roll in the hay (if so, see our coronavirus sex tips)? Do you find even a brief kiss on the cheek while you’re working disruptive and potentially contagious? Either way is fine, just surface these preferences with your partner so you can get on the same page and avoid hurt feelings.

5. Don’t sing show tunes or cut your toenails

Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you’re not also at work. If you wouldn’t do it sitting in your office, don’t do it while working from home.

6. Be aware of background noise

Don’t unload the dishwasher or flush the toilet when your partner is on a call. You might think you can do it “quietly,” but trust us, there is no such thing.

7. Designate working hours

This is important any time you’re working from home, not just when you’re sharing the space with your partner. Setting designated hours in which the shared space will function as a workplace and when it will be your living room/kitchen/bedroom/whatever again will help you stay on the same page with each other and will also help keep your work from creeping into your relaxation time (and vice versa).

8. Take breaks from work and from each other

While it can be tempting to take a break whenever your partner is taking a break, it can actually be super helpful to take breaks separately. Getting a little alone time in another room or going out for a walk by yourself (while maintaining social distancing) can be beneficial.

9. Don’t start sentences and then wistfully stare out the window instead of finishing them

It can be hard to avoid seeking comfort and reassurance from your partner during such turbulent times, when they are clearly available and right in front of you, but y’all, “I just feel like…” is not a complete thought. Neither is, “What happens if…” If you’re going to interrupt your office mate/partner, go ahead and wait until you’re ready to finish the sentence.

10. Carve out quality time together

It may feel like the last thing you need is more time together when you’re already spending the entire work day together, but that work day time is not quality time. Blow off steam together with a movie night on the couch, make dinner together, give each other massages, or go straight for the hanky panky. Whatever floats your boat!


P.S. Find out how to get your birth control delivered (and even get the prescription online) so you don’t have to leave the house.

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