Living Together and Teleworking with Your Partner

Living together and teleworking with your partner, it's important to respect the times and spaces of the working day.
Living Together and Teleworking with Your Partner
Maria Fátima Seppi Vinuales

Written and verified by the psychologist Maria Fátima Seppi Vinuales.

Last update: 04 July, 2023

A few short years ago, the pandemic created a new scenario: Teleworking. Although this modality was already practiced in some workplaces, in many other areas, it emerged as something new. Of course, this situation brought advantages, but it also implied challenges. Living together with your partner and teleworking was one of them. Let’s see what this is about and some suggestions about it.

Living together with your partner and teleworking, what are the challenges?

Why can teleworking be a problem for coexistence? Here are some of the aspects that can be an obstacle when working and being with another person at home.

Working “24/7” and in diffuse schedules

Many people fail to establish a clear line between work and personal life. This lack of disconnection not only invades one’s own time and space but also that of the partner.

Absence of one’s own workspace

As in the previous point, perhaps in the home, there’s no space that can be dedicated exclusively to work. For example, without a desk, the place for professional work may coincide with the place where the other person watches television or rests.

A man complaining about his wife's teleworking.
Sometimes, home problems can intermingle with work concerns or vice versa, which can generate more stress.

Indoor stress

Moving to a physical location means that when we return home, we travel a distance that allows us to detach, at least in part, from work worries. This changes with remote work. Sometimes, your partner can become the target of your catharsis and emotions.

Interruptions or invasion of space

Let’s look at a situation: One partner finishes work earlier and wants to start a conversation. However, this isn’t possible, as the other person needs to concentrate and finish with a presentation. Therefore, the one who wants to have a dialogue may insist or feel rejected in the face of the refusal.

Assumptions about availability

It’s common for one partner to work from home while the other doesn’t (or has a hybrid mode). Sometimes, it happens that the one who works outside assumes that the one who stays at home is available for certain household chores. For example, “I called the plumber to fix the shower. Can you let him in the morning?”; “I ordered some things online, can you receive the packages?” 

These could be some of the usual requests, where one partner overlooks the fact that, although their partner is at home, they’re in the middle of work. In this regard, perhaps they can’t take on extra tasks because they’re in a meeting.

You might be interested in: 7 Tips for Mothers Who Work From Home

A mother working from home late at night.
The lack of limits can lead the person who works remotely to feel that their work is undervalued or that they’re not respected.

Suggestions for couple cohabitation and telework

Some of the recommendations so that the relationship between cohabitation and teleworking is more harmonious are the following:

  • Establish work schedules and respect them. Try to maintain a balance between your personal and work life.
  • Share with your partner the moments of recreation. For example, if you take a 10-minute break in the middle of the morning, you can take advantage of it to talk or share something together. It may help to agree on a rule: Don’t always talk about work.
  • Find space for your own activities. Just as it’s important to spend quality time together, it’s also advisable to take some distance. In other words, to find a balance. It’s important for the couple to keep or create individual spaces where they can disconnect from work. For example, going out with friends or playing sports.
  • Negotiate household chores. You can organize the activities of the house with your partner, such as cleaning and tidying up the spaces. In this way, you’ll be able to work comfortably by dividing household activities without having to tell the other person when to take care of something.
  • Look for coworking alternatives. If your own home doesn’t have the facilities for remote work, you and your partner can agree that one day a week, you’ll go to work somewhere else. This could be a coworking space, a café, or a relative’s house. This way, some space is generated in the relationship.
  • Respect work times. Although teleworking allows sharing other private moments during working hours, such as sharing a coffee in the middle of the morning or having lunch together, it’s also necessary to know and respect when each day begins and ends. In this way, understanding is easier, as each partner knows what the other one does.
  • Prioritize dialogue and patience. Above all, it’s essential to try to talk about what bothers us or what we need to change. When routines change, it’s also necessary to be patient. That’s one way to give people time and space to adapt to change.

You may be interested in: Keys to Foster Respect in the Family

Teleworking isn’t incompatible with living together with your partner

We shouldn’t romanticize or demonize. Teleworking from home with your partner doesn’t have to be one or the other, but has a bit of both. In some aspects, remote work can be managed in a positive way, while in other cases, it perhaps needs a little more negotiation.

Undoubtedly, work is a crucial factor in our quality of life, as we spend many hours dedicated to that activity. However, it’s a matter of learning how to find the best way to develop it. Both face-to-face and remote work present their own challenges. This’s why it’s essential to find the necessary resources to find the right balance.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Silvia Morales Carrizo (2021). De la presencia a la virtualidad: el impacto del teletrabajo en la vida cotidiana y las relaciones laborales, en tiempos del Covid-19. XIV Jornadas de Sociología. Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires.
  • Jeffrey H. Greenhaus, Karen M. Collins, Jason D. Shaw, The relation between work–family balance and quality of life, Journal of Vocational Behavior, Volume 63, Issue 3, 2003, Pages 510-531, ISSN 0001-8791,
  • Saiz Zamora, R. (2022). Teletrabajo y conciliación de la vida laboral y familiar desde la perspectiva de género:¿ Es útil para fomentar la conciliación corresponsable?.
  • Torres Rodríguez, Beatriz, Pérez Fernández, Ana Margarita, & Gutiérrez Gutiérrez, Carlos. (2021). COVID 19, ¿qué ha ocurrido en las relaciones de parejas y las sexualidades con el andar del tiempo?. Revista Novedades en Población17(34), 412-427. Epub 01 de diciembre de 2022. Recuperado en 23 de abril de 2023, de

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.