Do you and your other half get up in the morning, get ready for work and then end up heading to the very same place? Most couples would cringe at this prospect, but there are those couples that make it work. In fact, they thrive while working together! If you find yourself working with your partner or spouse, how exactly do you handle it? Working with a partner can be tricky, to say the least. Today, we will take a look at some tips and top advice for couples that work together.
If you want to ensure that you have a good working relationship with your spouse or partner, you have to put in some extra effort. Remember that working with a partner is a lot different from working with just anyone else. Below are great pointers for working with your spouse or partner.
How to work with your spouse (partner) successfully – 15 tips and advice:
1. Create a work-life balance and stick to it.
Whether you simply work for the same business or run a company together, if you work with your spouse, there’s the risk of being “at the office” at all times. This means that you’re in work mode at work as well as at home. Try to ensure that you set mechanisms in place to unwind and relax at home and only work when at work. You might need to put in effort at first, but it will become more natural over time.
2. Have separate workspaces.
If you are working at the same business together, it might be tempting to combine your workspace and use each other’s things. This is a personal space issue and should be avoided. It will also not be a good image to present to your colleagues. Make sure that you each stick to your own work areas and don’t take advantage of each other.
3. Always put your marriage first.
Don’t put your marriage on the back burner just because you are working together. If something happens at work that could impact your marriage, make sure that you put an end to it. Perhaps the manager always expects you to work alternating weekends, or perhaps one of the other staff members is being too familiar with you.
Ensure that you have good respect for your marriage and shut down anything that could put it at risk. Just because you work together doesn’t mean that “anything goes”.
4. Help each other – work as a team!
Remember that you and your spouse (or partner) are essentially a team. Anything that you can do to help your partner get ahead, you should do! Have a mindset of always willing to help your partner achieve his/her work goals.
5. Focus on each other’s strengths.
The workplace is competitive. You need to avoid the workplace competitiveness coming between the two of you. Remember that your partner’s success is your success, too – and vice versa. Take the time to get to know your partner’s strengths in the workplace and always focus on those. Help your partner to put his/her strengths to good use, and you will find that it will essentially strengthen your relationship too.
6. Align your goals and consistently check in with each other.
If a couple has common goals in the workplace, it puts them in a good spot. It’s like a team aiming for the same thing. Working together to achieve joint goals is a great team-building exercise. It will do wonders for your careers as well as for your relationship strength!
7. Ensure a level of respect at all times.
Showing any form of disrespect for your partner at work is a no-no. Set a high standard when it comes to showing respect for each other at all times in the workplace. You wouldn’t treat your work colleagues with disrespect, so it’s definitely something you should afford to your partner too. Even if your partner is annoying or causes an issue at work, first show respect and handle the matter with dignity and a calm approach.
8. Don’t take work home with you.
If all you and your spouse ever do is talk about work, it’s not a good sign. If you want to have a healthy home and work life, leave the work at work and focus on personal interests and aspirations at home. If you have a lot of extra work to do, try not to bring it home but rather put in an extra hour or two here and there during workdays. Keep the home as your private sanctuary where you rest and unwind together without the stresses of work.
9. Define the roles and assign ownership.
Couples that own or manage businesses together have found great value in actually defining roles. This means that each partner has a set of tasks to do that don’t interfere with the other partner’s tasks. This provides the opportunity to reach the same goals together as a team, without putting the couple in a position where they have to compete or fight for responsibilities. Role defining should be done as early on as possible.
10. Work at maintaining your own individuality.
It’s easy to become a unit in the workplace when working with a partner. Try not to become carbon copies of each other. You can maintain your individuality in simple yet effective ways. Try taking lunch at separate times. Perhaps one partner can leave work and go do the grocery shopping while the other heads towards the gym before going home. Everyone in a couple needs to maintain individuality to keep things alive and to get a bit of personal space. Don’t neglect this.
11. Leave personal arguments at home.
If you have a fight at home, you absolutely cannot bring it (or even a hint of it) to the office. This is something that requires exceptional skill and maturity. Leaving personal problems at home is essential to the success of the business. It will ensure that your professional image remains intact and will help to make the work environment less awkward for others who share it with you.
12. Never down-talk each other to colleagues or employees.
If something happens at work or home and you really want to whine about your partner; don’t! It might seem natural for people to moan about their partners to work colleagues, but keep in mind that in those scenarios, the work colleagues don’t work with the partner in question. Remember that your partner’s professional image needs to be protected at work; and that once the air clears after the argument, you will regret any negative things that you say to others.
13. Give each other privacy.
It would be weird if one of your partner’s colleagues kept popping into his/her office and interfering with what he/she is doing, wouldn’t it? It would be an invasion of privacy and quite distracting. Much the same, you need to give your partner privacy at work to focus on their own tasks and get their job done. Giving each other space and privacy is a general sign of respect…one you should afford your partner.
14. Respect your partner’s authority.
If your partner is in a role of authority or is in a position where he/she has to delegate work, implement discipline, and take charge, it is better to fall in line and respect his/her authority than to question it or try to show him/her up. Showing support for your partner’s role of authority is important in the workplace and for your relationship.
15. Set regular date nights.
If you work with your partner, you need to set time aside for “quality time”. Date night is very important in a marriage or a relationship. It’s time to break away from all the must-do tasks of the day and just focus on each other.
These are just a few ways in which you can promote a good working environment when working with your spouse. Of course, It can be tricky to work with your partner, but it is certainly not impossible. With the right mindset and mutual respect for each other, working together can actually strengthen your relationship.