Working remotely comes with a lot of challenges and perks. Many have been working remotely since COVID-19 hit the United States. However, many now find themselves working with family or roommates nearby. Putting your professional needs before personal life needs during work hours can feel uncomfortable when you’re working from home. Aside from dealing with this discomfort, your workday has changed in a number of ways. Your house may get louder during the day, planning uninterrupted video calls might seem strenuous, and you may be sharing your workspace. Also, your roommates or family might have trouble adapting to these remote work boundaries. To help you navigate this, we have pulled together 4 tips for working remotely with roommates or family.
Give roommates or family members as much space as possible
Remember, you should always have empathy and respect for your roommates or family and their personal space. This doesn’t stop when you all have to work from home together. In this situation, you have to start thinking of them as co-workers. Rather than sitting right next to each other or doing something loudly, create an environment that allows everyone to work well at the same time.
If you have a desk in your room or your own office space already set up, try and work there as much as possible. If no one has a desk or room that they can work in, designate where they’ll be working each day so that everyone is at a proper distance. You may also want to consider days where you’ll relocate to new workspaces if anyone needs a change of scenery.
Communicate about your schedules and expectations
Communication is key when it comes to working remotely with roommates and family. With strong communication, you can prevent someone from accidentally walking in the background of your meeting or two calls happening in one room. If you have children at home, you can communicate and determine who will be helping and watching them at different points of the day. Once you’re having this conversation, it’s also important to discuss any expectations or professional boundaries.
Avoid interrupting their meetings
As already stated, think of them as a coworker. Would you ever barge into a colleague’s meeting to ask them a quick question? Would you walk into a meeting room when the door is closed? There are many ways to communicate aside from knocking on the door or yelling their name. You can easily text them or email them if it isn’t something that needs immediate attention.
Also, if they’re working in a common space in your house, try to be quiet and remain out of the camera’s view if you need to enter the room. However, try to be flexible. If someone is in an area, like the kitchen, try and set times that others can come into that space if they need to.
Avoid overlapping meetings or presentations
Communicating with your family and roommates will help prevent embarrassing moments during meetings or interruptions that could affect your work. Aside from this, you should communicate to make sure that everyone can participate, host, or present in meetings when they need to. If you have overlapping meetings or presentations, it’s bound to be a disaster.