Some couples get along well in all aspects of their lives together except for one: sharing a home office. One spouse may like keeping papers in files, while the other likes piling papers on the floor. Still one spouse may be fine with one or two work surfaces, while the other needs as many surfaces as possible to store “stuff.”
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t work with your spouse — and I know many people who work together perfectly. Yet some couples say that the reason their business is thriving is because they work in separate home offices.
Consider these questions before you share a home office with your spouse.
- Do you have compatible work styles? Your spouse may like a messy desk while you like to have a clear space to work. Use separate desks to solve or avoid that problem.
- Are your internal clocks synchronized? If you’re a morning person and your spouse likes to stay up late, you may run into problems — including being kept awake by a noisy printer or phone calls. Invest in earplugs, add a door to close off your office (if possible), or convince your spouse to print in the morning.
- Does your home office have to be quiet for you to be productive, while your spouse needs background noise to work? Get him or her a set of headphones. While he or she is enjoying music, you can enjoy a quiet office.
Sharing a home office with your spouse may be the perfect solution for your business, or a bad idea. It’s important to keep in mind that what happens in the bedroom doesn’t necessarily dictate what happens in the boardroom — even if both rooms are in the same house.
Do you share a home office with someone?