How to survive working at home with your significant other

So you're working from home during the novel coronavirus outbreak. Now what? You might be preventing the spread of COVID-19 by social distancing, but how do you cope with being home all day? After a few days cooped up at home, things might start to get tense — especially if you and your significant other are both working from home and aren't used to spending so much time together.

If you're worried that the stress of working at home with your partner may lead to divorce, then it's important to take action to safeguard both your mental health — and your significant other's — in this difficult time.

Set up separate workspaces

As much as you can, try to keep your work areas separate. This might not be so easy if you're living in a small apartment, but FlexJobs recommends keeping your workspace as private as possible while working from home.

Even though you may have no choice but to work in close proximity with your significant other, you can still establish boundaries to cut down on distractions. Both you and your significant other should create office hours in order to minimize distractions.

That doesn't mean, however, that you have to work in complete isolation! You can still meet up for coffee breaks and lunch — just remember to stay focused.

Schedule your day

Scheduling is key, especially if you and your significant other are juggling parenting duties along with working from home. HuffPost recommends planning your schedule in 24-hour chunks. "It feels bad to not have structure and boundaries," social worker Perri Shaw Borish told the outlet. "It's important to sit down every night and plan for the next day."

Britt Riley, co-founder of a combination daycare, co-working, and fitness space called Coggeshall Club recommends working in shifts if you have kids. Maybe you can take the morning shift with the kids while your partner works, or switch off working mornings. "People are really productive when they know they have a set amount of time to get something done," said Riley. "And you'll be able to look back on this time together and say, 'Wow, we really worked as a team.'"

Stay positive

While being stuck at home can be stressful, Riley said that people working from home should look for the silver lining and stay optimistic. Maybe it's spending time with your family, or having the opportunity to see how your partner goes about their workday.

"Yes, there is a very scary virus looming over all of this, but your home is your safe space, and your people are your people," she said. "Try and frame it in a positive way, which is that you can work together as a team, plan the things you can plan, and spend this time together."

Before you know it, you'll hit your groove and be co-working peacefully. Just remember to make regular hand washing a part of your working from home routine!