Working with your spouse is not a walk-in-the-park. It’s a decision that you have to carefully plan and set ground rules if you want to succeed in it.
“It can never work!”
“The marriage won’t last!”
“My partner would be insecure!”
“It’s not worth the trouble!”.
These are a few phrases you hear from the average person when you try to suggest they work with their partner. Why, you may ask, do these perceptions always come up with this topic?
The truth is, it’s never easy working with someone with a different work style from you, be it your partner or spouse or not. But does it always end badly? No. Take the Obamas for instance, did you know they worked together at the beginning part of their relationship? Now, we term them ‘relationship-goals’.
Working with your spouse does not always have to be rocky; the simple trick is how you handle it. The interesting thing in scenarios like this is that working is like love.
You encounter different personalities and learn to cope with them to create a peaceful co-existence with them. You spend so much time with them and share most of your life achievements with them.
Couples that have shared experiences often feel a greater sense of connection to one another, and your work can be a good way to share experiences. Your spouse will have a strong understanding of your work life and will be in an excellent position to provide support and advice.
So, if your romantic partner happens to be someone you work with, how your relationship pans out depends entirely on how the realities are handled. Let me share some worthy tips and tricks for successfully working with your spouse, without ending your relationship.
See Also: How to start an export business in Nigeria.
Tips For Working With Your Spouse
Don’t Bring Work Home
As an entrepreneur, it might be a tad difficult to separate your work from your home, especially if you work with your spouse.
However, try as much as you can to prevent it from happening. Work here doesn’t mean an office space alone; it could be discussions about a project, product review, and any business-related topic.
Let your home be a sacred cove that you and your partner can let loose and be personal with each other. Everything work-related should be handled at work or during work mood at home. If you must, create specific work hours and non-work hours to discuss your business metrics.
Respect Each Other.
The key to any long-standing relationship is mutual respect. Trust your spouse enough to respect their business decisions and try to support them at all times.
If for any reason you disagree, don’t throw your objections in a demeaning or insulting manner. Listen to them, understand their viewpoint and respectfully let them know what you think. Respect their judgments and don’t play favorites with them.
Don’t Forget Date Nights
If you didn’t have this as a tradition, you need to set it up right away. Date nights should be inculcated in your weekly activities and carried out as judiciously as you would your business.
Make out time to acknowledge your partner and see them as more than mere office colleagues or work buddies. Remind yourselves of how much value you each bring to the table in your relationship.
Date nights also help you look forward to something that isn’t numbers or policies, with your spouse.
Have Separate Workstations
If you work in the same company, it is important to request separate workstations from your spouse, especially if you are supposed to work closely together.
You don’t want to be stuck always having to see your partner at every minute of the day, especially if you also live together. That could be a recipe for adversity because if you cannot miss your partner, frustration can build.
Separate workstations create room for anticipation in looking forward to seeing your partner at the end of the day and even making small talk of how your days went. It can also help you both stay focused on your specific tasks and responsibilities.
Play On Your Strengths
You should understand your partner’s strengths and weaknesses and be able to build on their strengths. If you both run a business together and you know some things your partner is better at, let them handle that aspect and help them develop it.
Build trust and integrity by allowing them to excel at what they are good at.
Be Sensitive To Each Other’s Feelings
Because you want to keep work and personal separate, don’t, therefore, care less about how your partner feels. Talk with and to them, show them that you are rooting for them and be there for them when they need you.
Don’t leave hurtful remarks at work and hope to make up for it at home. Be an all-round supportive partner and don’t manipulate or play on their emotions.
Be Sincere With Each Other
No one likes to be lied to. If you find that your partner is performing less than acceptable kindly inform them. It’s all part of being there for them when they need you. Tell them their weaknesses and their shortcomings and help them overcome them.
In the same light, give them the necessary accolades that are due to them at certain points. Don’t downplay their honors because you don’t want it to seem personal.
Always Let them know why you do what you’re doing and very importantly, be honest.
Don’t Do It If Your Relationship Is ‘Rocky’.
If for some reason your relationship is not too solid or there is any doubt whatsoever, avoid working with your partner if you can. Focus on solving one misgiving at a time before taking the big step to work together.
The same also goes if you are initially working buddies and are thinking of beginning a romantic relationship. Iron out whatever underlying issues you may have before beginning a new reality with them. Seek professional counseling if need be and manage each situation separately.
Agree On An Approach
The workplace is a professional environment so, no matter who you work with, you’ll want to map out and agree on approaches to maintain professionalism.
The same goes if your colleague is your partner or spouse. Discuss how you want your work/personal-relationship dynamic to be like. Set boundaries and respect them. It is easier to work amicably with your partner if you both understand what you want from it.
Don’t Take Things Personally
Always remember not to take things personally. Whenever you find yourself and your partner in a situation, take a moment to assess the situation critically.
Be careful not to create an unnecessarily hostile environment. Remember that your spouse also has a role to play at work so, be understanding of their actions.
Act Like You Are Not Co-workers
Always care about how your partner’s work is going. Don’t assume you know everything about their work because you work in the same place.
Be supportive of their office and talk to them about their daily experiences. Engage in a little positive office gossip if possible, to help tighten your bond.
Being an entrepreneur comes with a varying set of challenges but running your business jointly with your spouse can take that to extreme heights. Remember, the aim is to do great work, offer quality service and meet goals. Can you achieve this by working with your spouse? Yes. But it must be done with a great deal of care, caution and intentional effort.
Do you currently work with your spouse? Are you planning on setting up a business with your spouse? Let’s her your thoughts in the comment section.
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