Alexandra Stockwell is a relationship and intimacy expert.
As some companies settle in for remote work for the next year, couples who live together are facing a new challenge.
To survive this time, couples need to prioritize three different things: their relationship, time alone, and working successfully.
Here are nine strategies for becoming successful long-term coworkers while keeping your relationship strong.
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In order to maintain vibrancy and long term health in intimate relationships, it’s key to find new ways to navigate the day-to-day stress on couples that results from working from home. What may have worked for the initial phase of suddenly sheltering in place in the context of a global pandemic won’t necessarily be adequate going forward. Many companies are transitioning their employees to working from home for at least a year — and this means couples who live together are facing a whole new set of challenges.
Ensuring a relationship survives this compression requires a couple to prioritize three different aspects of their experience: the relationship, time alone, and working successfully.
Using these nine strategies can create excellent outcomes and set you up for relationship success through explicitly nurturing your relationship, spending time apart, and creating a positive work environment for both of you.
1. Prioritize your time together as partners
Employers may worry that working from home leads people to spend less time working, and more time with their families. In my experience coaching hundreds of couples, I have found it far more likely that the opposite happens. People become obsessed with work, and instead of bringing their attention to their loved ones, they keep working late at night and on weekends, less inclined to truly be “off.” This is especially true of entrepreneurs.
If you or your partner have this tendency, it is essential to create clear boundaries around work. Set specific start and end times and don’t check work emails after dinner. It’s also important to keep yourself from focusing mental energy on work challenges while with your partner. When you spend time together, prioritize connecting with one another and nurturing your relationship.
2. Create meaningful routines
Experiment with fun ways to transition into the work day, and back out of it. Do you want to kiss one another goodbye as if you were leaving for work, and embrace again at the end of the day? Dressing for work and changing into more casual clothes at the end of the day certainly provides a good transition. Another option is to take a walk together at the end of the work day, to assist your transition from office mates to loving partners.
Have dinner and spend evenings together if that’s what you used to do when working in an office. (If you didn’t spend evenings together, maybe it’s time to start.)
Plan for date night once a week. Get dressed up. Enjoy special food. Dance, look through your wedding album or photos from trips you’ve taken together. Do karaoke, cook something new, or work on a puzzle together. Mix things up …read more
Source:: Business Insider