Guest Post by the Team at Bonobology
Among all the things the pandemic brought into our lives, the “work-from-home” mode has probably had the most impact on our way of life. From a daily routine of wake up, bathe, eat breakfast and run out the door for a long day of meetings, presentations and targets; we suddenly had to adapt to a whole new routine of wake up, eat and turn laptop on for a day of unending video meetings and zoom calls. This raises the question if work from home is affecting your relationship?
Undoubtedly, this model of work has been met with mixed feelings and emotions by different people. While some found it comfortable to work in their PJs from their couches, others hated the fact that this style of working has blurred the lines of previously specified office timings, in turn taking over their personal lives.
The New Normal – Couples Working Under The Same Roof
In most modern couples, both partners are ambitious, hard-working individuals who are passionate about their jobs. However, with employers around the world adopting a work-from-home approach to keep employees safe in the current situation, these individuals are being forced to share space under the same roof all day, while juggling their professional and personal lives. On one hand, it is nice for couples to be able to spend more time together through the day; but on the other, the stress can be overwhelming if one doesn’t have his/her personal space for a long time. Specially, with each person needing a specified room to concentrate on their work or making sure their zoom meetings are uninterrupted, managing space and chores can be a difficult proposition for most. Hence, as with most things in life, this situation too has its pros and cons as may be observed through examples of real-life couples living this new way of life. Let’s examine them to assess if work from home is affecting your relationship.
- Being able to spend quality time with your loved one – time which would earlier be spent in commuting to office and back, or on work trips.
- Communication has improved between couples working from home as they are able to talk to each other more and discuss things which they couldn’t before due to a lack of time.
- The ease of dividing chores between the couple, so that one person does not have to take the stress of managing the household. This pandemic work-from-home situation has surely made couples more organized and sorted about household responsibilities.
- It can be less stressful to have someone around to share worries and concerns with. Even if you are having a bad day at work, you can vent to your partner without having to keep feelings bottled up inside for long.
- Grabbing lunch together in the middle of a workday used to be a thing of dreams in the past. But now, it’s one of the pleasant times of the day when you can spray on some pheromones for men, enjoy some quality time together and feel rejuvenated before heading back to your respective rooms, desks, or workstations. Those quick kisses or hugs between calls are an added bonus!
- Being under the same roof 24/7 with another person might get too overwhelming for someone who needs their own space. You may need some ‘me’ time or time alone, which is difficult when both of you are at home all the time.
- City life often means couples don’t share big houses or have access to ample space to create their own comfortable work environment at home. The constriction of both physical as well as mental space may result in compromising on productivity or mental peace.
- Maintaining a balance between one’s personal and professional life gets difficult when your home becomes your workplace. Work stress or tension with colleagues might spill over on to your personal interactions with your partner and create a negative vibe at home.
- Getting to know each other’s work personas can be interesting at first, but might soon get annoying, specially if you don’t like the way your partner scolds their juniors or if you feel the other person talks too loudly during their video calls.
- Couples working from home both use the Wi-Fi connection all day long. As a result, internet signals may not always be strong and smooth. Specially with both partners scheduling back-to-back zoom calls or video meetings, one person’s connection might sometimes get affected if the other is working on something that runs on a high bandwidth.
Back in the day, we would have done anything to get some work-from-home days from our employers, but now that we are living in this new reality, going to office is a welcome activity, especially if that means not having to stay at home with another person 24/7. This mode of working has definitely brought couples closer and strengthened many relationships. But a breather from the forced company of your partner is definitely needed from time to time, for physical and mental respite. Whatever you may feel, work from home is definitely affecting your relationship. With the pandemic still at large, staying home means staying safe – so the best way forward is to keep communicating with each other clearly, have designated workspaces and be compassionate and understanding in order to co-work peacefully under the same roof.
This is a guest post written by the team at Bonobology, which is a couple-relationship destination for couples everywhere! Through the expert team of panellists at Bonobology, you can access the best counsellors for clearing marital / relationship discord, in addition to accessing relevant and well-researched content on this subject.
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You rightly mentioned about having a little me time. As we lost that during the pandemic. With always people around you. Well.this is a good thing, and a bad thing too.
As you rightly said, pandemic has got us together by always having people around. This is a good thing and a bad thing too.
As we don’t have a me time
I have seen couples having a hard time being working from home and on the other hand, there are a few haps couples who are enjoying being gat home. Talking about couples relationship then yes, alike any other situation where we talk about relations, then, here also, communication and giving each other necessary space is very important.
It’s like what we say, too much a good thing( is a bad thing). Balance and mutual understanding is key.
I agree..it can be boon or bane. As far as I am concerned I am liking it or you can say quite used to it by now. In fact when one of us has to go to office once a while now , whole routine gets disturbed. But I think everyone should be ready to accept change as that ought to happen and the only thing which is constant.
The pandemic turned us, and our world, upside down and left us with no other option than to right ourselves. Working from home together was extremely stressful at first, but we managed to get the hang of it later. I was horrified to realize that I even enjoyed it!
Hahahaa! I enjoyed it too though my husband went back to work as soon as things opened up!
For the ones who used to say that work from home mil jaye bas..ab nahi bolenge kabhi 🙂 …I see almost everyone in the hurry to get back to their work station. Work from home has its own pro and cons and a clear communication and understating can help to minimise the risk of staying at home with your partner 24/7… 🙂
Absolutely agree with you!
Work from home has both pros and cons. It all depends on what kind of communication is present between both the parents. For us specifically, we both are so happy that we are able to take a cup of tea together that too both times of the day, which wasn’t possible in the earlier circumstances. That’s the blessing this pandemic has given us.
True- it’s just the way you take it!
There are pros and cons to everything. Am sure couples have started communicating more and for the better. Family has taken precedence above everything. The cons can be taken with a pinch of salt am sure.
Yes that’s true
Our house is now become an office where I need a room, my husband need a room and my son need a room. Work from home opportunity brings joy initially, but now I seriously don’t want to work from home. Our home is like where I get some mental relief and I can have my food with patience. On the other hand, I can say our relationship is improved, and we have shared household chores.
True – pros and cons to everything!
Every coin has two sides and work from home comes with its own shares of plus and minuses like you shared. I feel that because of this situation our little one got to spend more time with her father which was really good as a family.
Yes that I have felt too and it was great
Absolutely agree on all pros and cons mentioned above. Now I can only wish for the things get back to Original normal at soonest. No WFH and SFH(study from home) any more, fingers crossed!
I think I am one of the weirder ones lol or a typical introvert! i Ansolutely love having my husband at home wfh. We had only 3 months of that. Probably maybe that the reason since it wasn’t long term but we really enjoyed as a family together..
I’m with you Shahira.. My husband was home only for 3 months and I loved that period..
This reminds me of a thought, “too much of a good thing can be a bad thing”. Completely agree with you on the personal space and mutual understanding being key to make this wfh thing last
WFH was a boon for a few days only..after that it got so overwhelming that we used to sit in 2 separate rooms the entire day, just to take a break from each other. It definitely got on nerves especially when we had to work and manage a kid at home without any help. WFH is great only if it’s limited to a few days. After that, as u said, it requires great balancing skills to avoid personal- professional life spill overs.
Depends on the situation entirely!
Working from home is no piece of cake. The pandemic has finally made people realize that. And so true about relationships, every individual needs space. Can’t be in each other’s hair all the time.
WFH seems to be the new normal with many companies asking their employees to not return till year end atleast. So it is important to set time and schedule responsibilities with there are children at home who need supervision. Lesser chances of friction. Like in office, it would be better to set a time (may be a little later that the usual factoring in the many breaks WFH needs) after which you need to log off. You can be polite but assertive and after a while people will understand not to disturb you after office timing. I see a couple in my apartment who spend all their time working, which I am sure will take a toll on their health and relationship.
Yes you must devote personal time to each other too
It depends from person to person. When my husband retired, he was home the whole day through. We actually enjoyed that.
Yes true -depends on the situation!
I live alone. but yeah, just like there are good points there are bad parts too. But we all need to adjust.
Thanks for reading 🙂
For many of us wfh is comfortable option but sometimes it’s difficult to manage with young kids. I think there is lots of distractions in wfh. Yes it has its pros and cons.
Absolutely agree with you
I agree to it . Everything has pros and cons but i am definitely getting used to it and totally enjoying this phase . My husband goes once in a week to office .so it is okay .
That’s nice 🙂
Honestly it has been a rollercoaster ride for us. Work from home came with lot of discussion for us. We got hold of it after few months but it was a hard tine initially.
Yes it takes time to adjust to anything new
Sometimes it’s a boon but sometimes it’s a ban… Couples use to go through the hard time…. Now nobody is going to say that ” I wish to get work from home ” …. 😁
I agree with you. Working from home also gives you an opportunity to understand each other’s nature of work. Sometimes, it may be too overwhelming sometimes, it may be underwhelming.
Lockdown has brought couples to be together under the same roof. While we all rejoiced it for a while, but eventually it became too overwhelming. I have seen few friends losing the spark as a result of being in each others sight through the day. There were few who set relationship goals and have taken their relationships to a different level too. But as you have mentioned, the most important thing is giving each other space. Also, what we did was to set our individual priorities, set our work time – office and home, and dedicate some time for ourselves too.
Very sound steps you have taken!
Working under the same roof actually worked great for us. Luckily last year I got to spend a lot of time with my hubster during my last trimester. And yes giving each other space and mutual adjustment works great.
I love having my husband home during lockdown, but as a stay at home mother I sometimes feel my space has been invaded. I have definitely lost my working desk to him as well, which puts a serious strain on my writing.
Awww I feel you!