Working at the same job as your partner can be a very good or a very bad thing for your relationship, there is nothing in between in my opinion.
This topic of couples working together is covered pretty well and everybody has an opinion, I thought I would add one more on the internet.
I would like to discuss this topic since my wife and I have worked together basically since we met. Of course, we were not married back then but you got the idea.
We worked together in a network marketing company, after that, we had the same job at a corporation, and now we are bloggers for our own blogs, so basically, we have a business together.
So this article comes after six years of working in the place with my wife, be it our home, an office, or a big corporation.
Five tips for couples working together – From 6 Years of Experience!
Most of those tips will also apply to owning a business together since it is kind of a job on a day-to-day basis. Having goals together should be a thing that you do for a job as well if that is what you want and want to have an actual career. The biggest difference is that you can choose what to work on when you have a business, and each of you can do what it does better without changing the job.
So here are the tips I consider essential when working together as a couple.
1 Take the work seriously
If you are at the office/workplace, don’t be like home, it is annoying for your coworkers, and it will stop you from advancing in your career since the leaders will not take you seriously if you don’t take the job seriously.
That doesn’t mean that you have to ignore each other, not at all but don’t distract your partner from their work. You can talk with them as much as you would talk with other coworkers that you get along with, it depends on the type of job you have and how much you can or should communicate with your coworkers.
Because it was possible when we worked in a corporation, we had our offices close to each other since I would enjoy more talking with her rather than with a coworker, but when it was time to work, it was time to work. We were allowed to listen to music while working, so when we put our headphones one, it was a clear sign for each other that it was work time.
2 Don’t suffocate each other
As I said before, we did our best to be physically close to each other all the time, but we knew we were at work, not home. It can be comforting to know that your significant other is close to you when you are working, but it is hard not to distract them, so it’s a fine line that you should pay attention to not cross it.
I think there were about five more couples in the office we worked, and none of them chose to have their office next to each other. That doesn’t mean they weren’t getting along, but this can be different for each couple.
If you think you can’t work with your partner close to you, maybe it will be better to keep some distance while you are working and meet each other during breaks.
3 Don’t overthink about who you spent time with at work
Spending the breaks with other coworkers might help you get to know the right people in the company. You can do this as a couple, so wanting to spend time with your coworkers doesn’t necessarily exclude spending time with your partner at work.
I saw many couples that avoid spending time together at work to not seem clingy to others, and I believe that is a mistake. You should not be annoying and clingy when you are together and but just spending time together, having lunch, and a short walk during breaks it is perfectly fine.
Don’t overthink how you should spend your breaks at work but rather do what you want to do and talk with your partner about how you see those things.
Do not try to make friends with coworkers to the detriment of your relationship. Keep in mind that your coworkers are most of the time, circumstantial friends or surface-level friends, not real friends, and keeping in touch with them after you quit the job is hard.
I say this because I notice that people do this on purpose, and they believe that spending time with their partner at work makes them seem weak in front of their coworkers.
That’s why I encourage you not to overthink about who you spent time with during breaks and do what you feel is best for you and your relationship. Also, talk about it with your partner to see how they see the situation.
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4 Talk about career goals
You should talk with your partner about your career goals and be honest about them. It is ok if you see the job as a transitional job or just something you do for the moment until your side hustle allows you to live on that.
This was our situation, we both treated the job as a temporary job since we were bloggers in our free time, but at that moment, we couldn’t live out of that, so we had to work. It was fine, we respected our coworkers we took work seriously, but we both knew one thing, we didn’t want to stay overtime there since we had other priorities.
So it’s important to talk about your goals to know why one might want to work more or harder while the other may not, or maybe you are on the same page, but it is important to know those things beforehand.
5 Separate your personal life from your work life
Talking only about work is a trap me and my wife were in, and it can be pretty bad when you start feeling like you are a business partner or coworker rather than a couple.
It is a good idea to delimitate clearly what time is for work and what time is for you without thinking about work. It will not work as smoothly in the beginning, but with some effort, you can separate your personal life from your work life pretty well.
This is a good idea even if you don’t work as a couple, separating those two helps you get more things done when it comes to your personal life. It might also help your career since you come to work with a fresh mind, not overthinking things all the time.
One tip for couples is to avoid gossiping about coworkers as much as possible, especially when you are in your off-work time since it will lead you to think about work stuff and thus talk about work without realizing it.
Pros and cons of working together as a couple
I will talk briefly about a few pros and cons that come to my mind when working with your partner.
In my opinion, working together is a make-or-break thing for most couples. If it doesn’t destroy your relationship, it will make it much stronger, I don’t see anything in between.
But let’s get to the pros and cons of working together as a couple
You spend more time with your partner. This can be a great thing in a healthy relationship. You can eat the food you cook together, you can order food together if you want, you can have a walk with your partner during breaks otherwise, it is pretty hard to find someone that wants to do that and so on.
Fewer reasons to be jealous. I know this is debatable, but we are humans, and we can be quite jealous when we don’t know what our partners do. Spending more time together gives you fewer reasons to be jealous. If it does the opposite and gives you more reasons to be jealous because you don’t like how they spend their time at work, then you have to talk with your partner, and most likely, you will not be on the good side of the make-or-break situation I talked about.
You see your partner in different circles. We can belive that our partners are the best at what they do if we never see them working and interacting with other people. Working together allows you to see how they actually are at work and with other people, not how they tell you. I see this as a pro since if you like what you see, at least you know that your partner is capable, and you can count on them. On the other hand, if they are not so capable, sooner or later, you find out that they weren’t honest anyway, so you better find out sooner.
Fewer opportunities for surprises. Since you spend most of the time together, it is hard to find time for a surprise, yea buying a flower in a rush is possible, but making time for a more complex surprise or gift is not as easy without ruining the surprise.
It can become boring. The relationship can become boring in many cases, this is also about how well you handle working together, but most of the time can make the relationship feel a bit boring since you are all the time together.
It wasn’t our case, but I know a few cases. A friend once asked us how many hours we spend separtly in a year, since we work together we have a lot of mutual friends and we also gym together. But I can tell you that this doesn’t change things too much for us, and if we are not together for a day, we feel like we miss each other.
Shockingly it can happen to feel like that even if we are not far from each other, what people don’t understand is that you can feel separated even if you are physically together, and it happens for us as well from time to time. See, we are not perfect, but we know we spend way more time together compared to most couples, so maybe don’t take us as a benchmark.
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Working together as a couple is a challenge, but it can also be a blessing for your relationship, so make sure you get the most out of those opportunities without runining the relationship.
I can’t see myself working without my wife close to me, we got used to it, and we really like it. That being said, when we work, even if we work from home now, we are, like any other coworkers, focused on finishing the task they have.