If your significant other hogs the blankets in bed, to some extent you know what you might be up against when you work together and share home office space. Sharing a business and working space with family, whether that’s with your better half , your brother or sister, or even your beloved parent(s), being deliberate with your space design, schedule and use of said space is critical to ensuring happiness before, during and after work hours.
Home Suite Home
When couples choose to go into business together or operate co-aligned businesses, it is majorly important to define work spaces. Especially if the two of you are working from a shared home office. Developing two spaces can be a huge challenge. Not only do you need enough physical space, but it also has to be workable. Sharing a desk works briefly if one or both of you are spending a portion of your time on the road. The day will come, however, when you are both home and need the surface area and personal space to tackle the tasks at hand. Consider designing two desks and either alot enough space for shared storage or create two small workable storage units. Each will have their own designated work spaces without losing focus to their love and consideration of the other.
Not My Style
Regardless of how much you love each other, your “other half” is not an identical twin. You most likely have differing styles whether they are neat or cluttered, streamlined and organized or a little more personalized. A home office does not need to be “matchy matchy”. Make it work for each of your own specific needs and personality. Where design and workflow styles collide, collaborate; but be respectful of each other’s individual patterns and processes and allow for the room the other needs to manage their business their way.
Pro Tip: Check out this helpful article on defining and documenting your workflow– so others on your team can dive in and help keep the planning process moving forward in your absence (hello, early maternity leave/3-week vacation/unexpected emergencies).
Work space is more than square footage and desk design. Be respectful of your partner and consider the entire working environment including light and sound. If necessary, go to another part of the house, or out into the yard to take a business call. If you’re more productive working to music but your partner enjoys silence, invest in a set of headphones. The same applies if your job involves listening to tutorials, podcasts, wedding videos or music that only applies to your business. Likewise, for things you find yourselves aligning on, celebrate them. Share in the responsibility of making sure they’re always present. Keep good inventory of the household favorite diffuser oil or scented candle. Make a schedule to ensure those plants you both bought to breathe some life into the space get watered.
Calling It Quits
Knowing when it’s time to move the business out of your house is immensely important. As the business grows, your team grows. If you do not have a large enough space like a finished basement or converted garage that can accommodate everything, know when to start looking for something else. Working from home together feeling like you don’t have your space is eventually going to bleed over into your personal life. You pour your heart into your business but home is where yours eventually comes back to every day to be with the ones you love. As just you. Set your space limits accordingly.