WORK-LIFE BALANCE / NOV. 11, 2014
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Top 5 Rules to Follow When Your Spouse Works From Home

Does the future entail a majority of the working population completing their office duties in the comfort of their own homes? With a growing number of people making the transition from the cubicle to their living room, the trend suggests more professionals will maintain workstations in their home.

The underlying issue is that a large sum of current remote workers suffers from a variety of problems that affect their workload and distract them from their job each day, such as a never ending telephone ring, a family member that consistently interrupts you and the fridge seducing you to eat some cake or drink another can of soda.

It’s a good possibility that you have a spouse, or at least a family member, who works from home. If you want them to do their job well and want to be on their good side then follow these five simple rules when they work.

1. Talking

You may have just read an interesting article in The Economist or you just finished watching a funny episode of “The Simpsons” and now you want to tell your significant other. The problem? They’re trying to get some work done. It’s important to give a work from home professional alone time, personal space and a quiet environment. In other words, leave them alone during their working hours or understanding that they just need some peace.

2. Loud ambiance

Ah, you’re home from work and now you just want to listen to some music, watch professional wrestling or view a film on Netflix. Unfortunately, a loud environment can be an immense distraction for any at-home worker as they need to concentrate on their assignments. Think about it: you’d be distracted, too, if the office was suddenly engulfed in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Requiem.”

3. Laundry, dinner and chores

Sometimes an at-home professional can be overloaded with assignments and projects. Similar to when your spouse has to stay late at the office, consider doing something nice for them, such as preparing dinner, doing the laundry, dusting around the home and helping the kids, if applicable, with homework. Think about it: if you had to work late you wouldn’t want to be imbibed by household chores when you walk in the door.

Did anyone say pizza?

4. Company

It would be nice to take a break from staring at a screen and socialize with friends and family. Unfortunately, this isn’t possible so if you wish to meet the boys or girls think about gathering at their homes, coffee shop or anywhere outside of the home. A work from home professional may be enticed to walk away from the computer to be with friends and family, but it wouldn’t be the wisest thing to do.

5. Being there

It’s quite possible that you may think your spouse doesn’t necessarily have any major issues to deal with at the home office. However, it’s certainly feasible to realize that your spouse has had a difficult time dealing with a client or is inundated with phone calls and incessant emails from the boss. Rather than just discussing the office politics at your company and averring how terrible your manager is, ask about their day and any issues they’re experiencing.

Remember, a remote worker has to have some separation from other dwellers in the home. In the future, architects may construct buildings and houses that are specifically designed for at-home offices and workstations. Until then, the bedroom or the corner of the living room will be the venue to get some work done for the time being. Be respectful of your spouse, understand they have work to do and empathize. Your busy spouse will appreciate it.

How do you support your spouse when they work from home? Let us know in the comment section!


Image: iStock

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