COVID-19 has thrown a wrench in our plans and affected our relationships. Here are three ways you can still get work done despite the circumstances.

working from home with a partner in the house
Couples can work from home effectively.

Set a Schedule

When you’re working outside the home, most of your schedule is pre-determined. This might go right out the window when you’re tasked with managing your own time. To deal with that, create a schedule that mimics your office life. Don’t keep this to yourself either.

In this scenario, schedules are more effective if they’re shared with your partner. That way they’ll be aware of the times you have to focus on your work. Make sure to note important events such as video or conference calls that will need controlled environments.

Communicate Effectively

Just because you’ve put up a work from home schedule, it doesn’t mean your partner will automatically know what you need from them. It would be helpful for both of you to talk about what the schedule means and maybe even come up with a color-coding system that easily communicates what’s happening. For example, something blocked in red could show a time when everyone needs to be quiet. Yellow could mean you would prefer not to be interrupted, but you can accommodate particular requests. Green, on the other hand, may mean that you’re working but are open to being engaged.

Until things are ironed out, make sure to talk with your partner about what did or didn’t work on that particular day.

Prepare to be Flexible

Of course, as with most plans, you have to be open to change. At the end of the day, you have to maintain a healthy relationship. You should be clear when communicating with your partner about what your needs are, but don’t dismiss their ideas or concerns.

It’s likely that if you build your schedule with them in mind, it will be easier to maintain. It can also mean that you’ll get into a good rhythm faster and be able to work from home more effectively.

One way you can show your partner your flexibility is by adding them to your schedule. It’s a small thing but it can make things easier to manage when they have a set time for engagement.