For a lot of us, achieving the freelance lifestyle of our dreams involves lots of effort, discipline, and passion. If you’re lucky enough to have a partner who’s also a freelancer, you both understand the challenges and benefits of this work style.
But what happens when two freelancers live together? What happens when they work on projects together? Things can definitely get complicated. We’ve heard a million times that “working with your partner is a bad idea,” but this is something that some independent workers can’t always avoid. Instead of telling people not to do it, today we’re going to give you a few tips on how to balance freelance work and living with your partner.
1.- Have separate workspaces
It’s one thing for both people to work from home; it’s entirely different to have one person work in the living room while another person works in the kitchen or the home office. It’s essential for each person to have their own work space with a desk, a chair, and their own equipment. If there are things that need to be shared like a coffee machine or a printer, that’s fine, but each person needs to have their own space to get their work done on their terms.
Whenever possible, designate workspaces for each person. If it isn’t possible, use headphones in order to create your own space free of distractions. Another important piece that will save you and your partner plenty of headaches, especially if you work in design or video editing, is making sure that you have a great internet connection that will allow you to download big files quickly.
2.- Share your calendar
The best way to stay on the same page in terms of dividing the workload and creating deadlines is to communicate openly about the work and the schedule on a day to day basis. We’ve spoken before about the importance of having a calendar when you’re a freelancer, and if you’re working with your partner, nothing is more important than ensuring that both people having access to the work so you can both make decisions that you agree on in order to make the project a success.
3.- Clearly divide the chore list
One of the best parts of being a freelancer is that it gives you more freedom. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that both people will have the same workload or the same amount of free time. Freelance workloads ebb and flow, and this is something that needs to be taken into account when it’s time to divide up the chore list.
That said, it’s important to remember that a clean and organized workspace is a productive workspace. Both people need to make an effort to clean up after themselves in order to prevent unnecessary fights, especially if partners spend the entire day together.
4.- Take a day for yourselves
Set aside a day to take a break from work and enjoy your partner’s company. Make sure that you can do things together, alone, or with friends and family. It’s healthy to have new things to talk about outside of work. If people spend 24 hours a day, conversations can become monotonous and stale. Take a break! You deserve it!
5.- Maintain professional respect at all times
In addition to being your partner, the person you live with is also a qualified professional in their area of specialization. Maybe both of you work in the same field, or one person is a web designer and another is a copywriter. No matter what area of work you and your partner are in, when you’re working together, it’s important to maintain professional respect and give your partner the same courtesy that you’d give any other coworker.
Make sure that you don’t take advantage of your partner, and above all, avoid micromanaging your partner and telling them how to do their job. Constructive criticism is one thing; unsolicited advice is entirely different.
6.- Separate your work life from your personal life
Sometimes it can feel like the work never ends when you work at home. This is totally normal when both people work from home and live together. It only becomes bad when both people get grumpy because they can’t get out of work mode.
If you’re both finding that it’s hard to get out of work mode, get out of the house or take a bubble bath. Whatever you need to do to mentally leave the office, make sure you do it so you can enjoy spending non-work time with your partner.
7.- Separate work time and rest time
Even though you live together, it can get really hard to spend quality time together if you don’t separate work time and rest time. Set a time where you two can do something fun as a couple and make sure both of you are at a good stopping point at work when that time comes.
8.- Carve out 100% work-free spaces
Finally, if you’re noticing that your entire relationship is starting to revolve around work, it’s time to take a step back and carve out 100% work-free zones where you and your partner take a break from discussing projects and clients.
This will help both of you clear your mind and talk about things outside of work. It will also help you both separate your professional and personal lives.
What do Workana freelancers think about working with their partners?
We surveyed a few of our freelancers about their thoughts on working with their partners and its advantages. Here are a few responses we got:
- oswaldo_de_jesus Understanding and respecting work time is essential if you’re going to work in that environment.
- paularodriguezn85 Yes! But everyone has their own workspace.
- jammerferrer . This is what’s great about working with a partner. Two heads are better than one!
- mariiaje Freelancing with your partner is great; 90% of the time it’s all love, the other 10%, we disagree, but we work it out. But there’s plenty of time to spend with each other, and we love our coffee and snack breaks and the fact that we can spend more time with our daughter.
- darioriverosplaza It would be great, but I don’t have a partner .
- mariajosechiquinquira It would be fun, but I’m single lol.
Hey you! Single on Valentine’s Day? Then fall in love with freelance life! Enjoy the freedom and independence that being a single freelancer gives you and treat yourself to a dinner at your favorite restaurant, a shopping spree, or even a weekend getaway. Don’t wait for someone else to buy you flowers; buy yourself a bouquet and celebrate your success and efforts!
Remember that Valentine’s Day is also a great day to celebrate friendship! Get together and grab a drink with your freelancing friends!
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