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.

What I needed at that moment were a few working-from-home guidelines for me and mostly my husband.


If you and your spouse work 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.


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 and attending a six-hour inspection.

In March of 2020, my husband and I made plans for a quick spring break just the two of us. Twenty-four hours later, our house was at capacity with 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. It was headed to that chandelier scene in War of the Roses

We scheduled a Zoom call with our therapist to brainstorm the whys behind my strong reactions to my husband’s work habits.

Sidenote: As small business owners we started seeing a life coach to navigate working and living together.


Apparently, my need for solitude and quiet can be traced back to my childhood. Being one of five siblings 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.


  1. 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 to listen 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 her what’s for lunch every day.

As my brilliant husband describes; lunches disrupt the workflow. 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 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.

working from home

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.

How do you handle a retired or working-from-home husband? Or what is a funny story you care to share for an updated post of the Marriage Diaries series?

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  1. 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!

    1. My kids tell me my voice gets louder after a 2nd glass! ha! Have a great weekend Katie!

  2. Tricia Becker says:

    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.

  3. Janet Cole says:

    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!

    1. HI Janet, You get it! Stay healthy and thank you for stopping by! xo laura

  4. 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!

    1. I get it! Of course, nothing makes me smile more than hearing my youngest on phone or facetime with his friends and just laughing!

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