It used to be that work took place in the office from nine to five. Outside those hours, your time was your own – for relationships, family, relaxation, and play.
Oh, how the times have changed.
The proliferation of technology into every aspect of our lives and, most recently, the outbreak of the coronavirus (Covid 19) have made working from home (telecommuting) a much more common practice.
Telecommuting and the Work-Life Balance: Pros and Cons
One of the casualties of this new world of telecommuting is that the lines between work and personal life, which are interdependent and continuously impacting one another, can become blurred and out of whack.
It means that one can never really “get away.” They can easily devote hours of private “off” time to work, constantly checking the phone, and “taking just a few minutes” to answer a couple of more emails. Telecommuting means one’s office is down the hall from their bedroom – and just as accessible on nights and weekends.
Another potential risk of the blurred lines is that, in the battle for time, work can easily win out. It’s easy to think our relationships will always be there for us and take a backseat to work demands.
Working from home with your partner has its benefits to be sure. Love is wonderful and working with the person you love sounds dreamy.
You can have sex anytime the mood strikes you!
Work-at-home couples have the advantage of developing stronger bonds by being physically present more of the time.
However, it is almost inevitable that when couples are thrown together for more days and longer periods than existed when one or both worked in an office, conflicts can arise and place a huge strain on the relationship
And that love relationship can quickly turn into a nightmare.
Tips To Make Working From Home With A Significant Other Successful
The single most important principle to make working from home with your significant other successful is to become a high-performance team of two. You and your partner need to come together on the same side and identify each person’s unique contributions to the team.
What does this include?
- Appreciating each other’s differences – in work styles, and in work-related stressors.
- Knowing how to communicate. This is one of the best indicators of a successful relationship. Learning to listen and talk openly and honestly. Communicating productively is a major part of managing conflict.
- Engaging in cooperative problem-solving. Remember, there are two views to every conflict and both are valid. Don’t try to fix each other.
- Balancing closeness and togetherness with independence and separateness.
- Increasing your personal development. Working remotely requires the development of new skills and qualities, such as good time management, self – motivation, autonomy and being able to set and work towards goals.
With the spread of the coronavirus, the trend for couples to work at home is on the rise and its up to the individual couples to work cooperatively to make it work
What we do know is that working remotely presents couples with unique challenges and requires the development of new work skills. We can accomplish this with a new way of thinking and a new relationship skill set.
As a practicing psychotherapist, I regard my primary task to assist people to access strengths they may not know they possess or do not know how to access them, so they can cope more effectively with the challenges of life.