Working from home is a concept that is slowly becoming entrenched in our day-to-day lives. It is what characterizes the professional lives of many people today. This arrangement presents remote workers with a lot of perks. However, several drawbacks are associated with it.
These drawbacks will affect your relationship in ways you never thought were possible. In light of this, many people have sought to unravel the question of “How does working from home affect your relationships?” This answer will prepare you to deal with this issue if it happens.
How Does Working From Home Affect Your Relationships?
The increased amount of time that couples who are working from home spend together is one of the things that can act as a catalyst for arguments and tensions. This is because couples have to spend a lot of time together. This creates a situation where more arguments come up, and things may spiral out of control very fast.
Sharing of working spaces may also create an environment conducive to potential quarrels when you and your partner work from home. When a healthy work-life balance is not achieved, stress from either your work will have potentially relationship-ending repercussions.
This is because of how easy for work stress to spill into your personal life and, specifically, your relationship. Remote work exposes your relationship to a lot of negative factors. It may not create the atmosphere needed to be empathetic to your partner and, therefore, cause many misunderstandings.
Not everything is all gloom, however. Working at home may also allow you to cultivate healthy relationships. This is because the onus is on you to learn how to manage your relationships successfully.
For example, the relationship between you and your partner does not have to suffer. It can also thrive. If you take advantage of the fact that you are working from home and spending so much time together daily, you two can be closer than you can imagine.
You can build a stronger bond that will make your relationship survive all that life’s problems may throw at you. You also get the chance to see your kids more. This will create precious memories of the time you will spend with them as you get to learn who they are as they grow.
In our post, we shall seek to explore the effects of remote work on your relationships. There are both negative and positive effects, and we shall touch on both aspects. Our tips will also aim to give you a clear picture of how you can best hack the work-from-home arrangement. This will be instrumental in giving you the ability to nurture stronger relationships.
Effects of Remote Work on the Relationship Between You and Your Partner
This is a double-edged sword here. Depending on how you manage your work schedule, your work can hamper or boost your relationship. If you want your relationship to capitalize fully on this arrangement, you need to put boundaries between your work and your personal life. Come up with a good work schedule that is clear about the times that you are on duty.
This communication should be passed out clearly to your clients, colleagues at the office, and supervisors or superiors. Why is this important, though? The main purpose of doing this is to prevent work from intruding on the time you have set aside for yourself and your partner. It is not uncommon to find your clients bombarding you with text and email messages and calling you non-stop.
This can greatly hurt your relationship. They will feel neglected because your attention is always diverted to work even when you should be spending time with them. Your partner may feel like you are not giving them the attention that they deserve. The end result of this will be a strained relationship and tension between the two of you. You are also more likely to fight over small issues with each other. The arguments and quarrels may be more frequent than they used to.
On the flip side, though, remote work can also give you a valuable opportunity to grow your relationship. You can use this chance to engage in fun activities that will strengthen your bond. For example, while working from home, you can be setting aside some time to work out with your partner.
You can use the time over lunch time to catch and chat with your partner. You probably never used to get such an opportunity when you were working back at your ‘traditional’ office. Now, you have more time to be with your partner. Whichever way you look at it, it all boils down to you. You can either make remote work advantageous to your relationship, or you can allow it to damage the bond you have with your partner.
Effect Of Remote Work On Your Relationship With Your Kids
Working from home can again have a myriad of effects on your relationship with your kids. It can have both positive and negative effects. This all depends with how you choose to approach your work-from-home arrangement. Just like your spouse or partner, your kids also need your undivided attention. However, this will not be possible with the heap of work that needs your attention as well.
They may need you to take them to school. When they come home from school, they expect your full care and attention. They anticipate that you will prepare food for them, bathe them and even help them do their homework. Overall, children always need to feel a sense of security from you as their parent. They are very sensitive beings that equally require high levels of attention from you.
Working from home will require that you juggle your work with the needs of your kids. A good balance is required here. This is, however, not an easy task. It will be disempowering to know that your work is the distraction that hinders you from fully devoting ample time towards a healthier interaction with your child. With the proper planning, you can win!
On the flip side, though, those who may choose to see this as an opportunity reap great benefits. They can build a stronger bond with their kids because you will see your kids more often than before when you were working in a traditional office. The fact that you are in charge of creating your schedule means that you can develop one that is tailored towards allocating considerably more time to your kids.
Effects Of Remote Work On The Relationship With Your Colleagues
A work from home arrangement makes the building of relationships with your colleagues to be more difficult. In a traditional office setting, engagement levels between staff are high. You do not only view your colleagues as just that. They are a vital part of your professional life.
Some of them even become your friends. You ought to remember that humans are social creatures by nature, and as such, the traditional way of working with others was better in the social scene. The working environment could even be considered “fun.”
When at work you were able to share life stories and laugh about how crazy your weekend was. You can share your personal experiences with those that you are close to. Gossiping is usually a common occurrence and one key negative of working with others in the in-office setting.
However, the social aspect of an office with colleagues made some people find this environment conducive to sharing their problems with others and seek for assistance.
However, when you work from home, there are big drawbacks to your social life.
First of all, it entails working alone and in isolation. There are no colleagues to chat with during the short breaks. There is no one you can confide in a face-to-face manner as you would to your friends at the office. The quick assistance that you normally receive when you are at the office will also be lacking. What does all this do to your relationship with your colleagues?
It takes a massive hit. Companies have realized this gap in the socializing bit of your professional life and have come up with measures that they perceive as a remedy to this problem. They avail video technology that the remote staff can use to keep in touch with their colleagues who work “on-site.”
They have also created chat groups where all staff can communicate with one another regardless of whether they work on-site or back at home. This is evidenced by the numerous companies that have WhatsApp groups, Facebook groups, and even groups on Slack. All these have been created to bridge the gap between the remote staff and those working on-site.
Effects Of Working From Home On The Relationship Between You And Your Supervisor or Boss
Now, this is one aspect of work that has taken a massive hit as well. At the office, your bosses and superiors usually have a much easier time when it comes to monitoring your performance. They literally have to just hover over your desk to see if you are really working or wasting time.
Due to the fact that you are just a few “footsteps” from each other, they can just shout out your name if they need you. Here, you also have the added advantage of consulting them and seeking their opinions on various matters and get feedback without delay.
In the event of a problem, all you guys have to do is just come together, brainstorm, and settle on a solution. However, working from home presents an entirely different ball game.
It is common knowledge that your bosses’ level of trust may have previously placed in you won’t be the same when you start working from home! Why does this happen? Your boss and supervisors naturally prefer having you close by so that they can monitor your output better.
But with working from home, they really do not have control and they lose trust and belief that you can still hit the same productivity levels at home. They will be concerned that you may not really put the same amount of effort and dedication as you are normally accustomed to.
In a nutshell, their trust in you becomes really thin. They will constantly worry about whether you can still meet the tight deadlines now that you have to juggle your work and your family’s demands. All these concerns, doubting tendencies, and lack of face-to-face meetings will make the relationship between you and your bosses weaker over time.
One of the most widely recommended remedies here is to stay in regular communication with them. This will go a long way into allaying some of the fears and concerns that they have about you working from home.
We have established that it working from home is not an easy feat. However, by leveraging some best practices, it can be hacked and made super easy. Relationships, whether professional or personal, are hugely intertwined with the arrangement of working from home.
This, therefore, requires remote staff to tread carefully and use all available means to make working from home a success. Though it offers you great advantages, remote working can equally cause a lot of strain in your relationships. Whether it is the relationship you have with your family or your colleagues, your boss or your kids, all of these can suffer with poor planning.
Their survival or lack thereof will solely depend on you. This then calls for appropriate measures to be taken in a bid to help salvage these relationships. Create a work schedule that will allow you to set aside enough time for your partner and your kids.
Participate and engage actively in group chats together with your colleagues. This will help to sustain the connection you may have built at the office. Last but not least, always try to communicate frequently with your bosses. You can use email messaging or even the office telephone. This will help them be at ease and see that you are still on track even if you are miles away!