Marriage Diaries & Working from Home
I almost went all “What are you wearing Jake from State Farm?” on my husband’s telephone the other morning. I was the crazy, bathrobe wearing wife, grabbing my husband’s phone to disable the speakerphone. I don’t even know if he knew he had it on speaker. What I needed in that moment were a few working from home suggestions.
So how you doing?
Working from Home (Together) Suggestions
If you and your spouse are now working from home, was it a seamless transition with glitter and twinkly lights in the office?
My husband was ecstatic about his new home office. I wondered if there was such a thing as one being too happy. #wink #thinkingoutloud
Apparently, over the years, one of us grew accustomed to working remotely in her brownstone in the suburbs home.
As a Realtor, my hours and days are fluid. I may be at home for an entire day followed by a day of showings.
March arrived after a fairly mild winter and we made plans for spring break. And, within 24 hours, with flights back to Denver our house was at capacity with me, my husband and our two “still in shock” college-age sons.
It was temporary I reminded myself. This would pass.
Ten days into the stay at home guidelines, my husband discovered he was way more productive in his home office. I was afraid that would happen.
We were completely different in our work habits. And, our new workday routine looked nothing like a Hallmark movie.
We scheduled a Zoom call with our therapist to brainstorm the whys behind my strong reactions to my husband’s work habits.
Apparently, my need for privacy and quiet goes back to my childhood where being one of five kids meant there was little of either.
And, after years of being the only one working from home, my husband’s work habits and home office unleashed my inner control freak tendencies.
Over the course of a few weeks, we settled on a healthy work environment. Now? We are happily married (most days). It turns out we (okay me) just needed a few ground rules to peacefully work from home.
Suggestions to Work from Home
- Separate spaces
We are fortunate to have a finished basement. We created a bonus room to accommodate my husband’s and boys’ after-hours office time.
2. Invest in a 2nd Printer
We both agreed listening to a printer churn out pages disrupts one’s concentration. Or, walking in on a conference call to retrieve documents from the printer is a bit of a distraction.
2 . Lunch Breaks
I knew I was not the only one who struggled with my new co-worker over the lunch hour. One blogger lamented her husband asked what’s for lunch every day.
As my brilliant husband describes; lunches disrupt the work flow. We save dinner for a meal and conversation.
3. Work Day Hours
I start my days early. I love quiet time and coffee. Somedays he has 15 hour days and other days he is done by noon.
We talked about it.
4. Acknowledge your Work Habits
Where I like to hunker down from 8:30-5 pm with a 15-minute lunch break. He likes to take breaks, pop his head into my office and share the details of his day. We acknowledged our differences and came to a mutual understanding.
5. Conference Calls
My husband is chatty. I am chatty with my sister and girlfriends. My husband is genuinely friendly and outgoing every.single.minute of the day. I am more chatty after a productive morning or a workout. Or, a gallon of coffee.
Working from home is an adjustment. He loves working from home and I know it is more productive for him too.
We have settled into a routine that feels balanced. It turns out I will not need Jake from State Farm. Looks like we made it.
I shared our recent marriage diaries post and our anniversary story here.
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Great post, Laura. This pandemic thing leads to many lifestyle changes. My husband talks so loudly on the phone that I am sure our neighbors can here him. My family tells me that I become a lot more chatty after a half bottle of vino. Have a great weekend!
My kids tell me my voice gets louder after a 2nd glass! ha! Have a great weekend Katie!
Yes, your (first) husband is very chatty and loves to know everyone’s life story!
One BENEFIT of both of us being around was we could get the dogs out on a walk together, go our separate ways, and the dogs were tired while we worked.
Oh that’s a good reminder sissy! Thank you!
Love this post, Laura!! My husband works from home and we (meaning my husband) were not successful in following the established ground rules/boundaries…one of us had to leave and that one that me! Even through quarantine, my work is considered essential so I have continued to go to work Monday through Friday. Hope you are well and happy!
HI Janet, You get it! Stay healthy and thank you for stopping by! xo laura
My hubby has always worked from home and has his office in the basement but with two additional co-workers now also working from home, it’s been an adjustment for sure! I have to find quiet spots for myself because I definitely need my alone time and quiet for what I do!
I get it! Of course, nothing makes me smile more than hearing my youngest on phone or facetime with his friends and just laughing!