The Prepped Team
October 19, 2020
For those of you who are students or recent grads, there’s a good chance that you’re sharing your space with someone else. This is something not-so-recent grads are also experiencing, and learning how to share that workspace is a tactic you’ll need to master. The world has shifted nearly completely online, and that includes how you work. That means you’ll need to figure out ways to cope and deal with others continually being in and around your workspace. And not just cope, but you want to excel still and produce high-quality work despite any potential distractions.
While it can be a bit challenging to work from home (WFH) when your roommates are likely on different schedules, there are steps you can take to limit distractions.
The very first thing you should do is have a conversation with your roommate. Let them know what you need in order to work at your best. Be honest about your needs, and try not to feel guilty. This is a unique time for everyone so communicating your needs clearly is the right first step. It’s also important that you listen and be respectful of their needs. They’ll be trying to adapt to working while you’re in the home, too, so you’ll likely need to make some adjustments, yourself. The goal should be full transparency and trying to find compromises so both of you can feel comfortable.
Predictability, in this case, is actually a good thing. If your roommates know that you have your head down from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m., they won’t interrupt you for brunch until it’s your break time. But if you’re constantly breaking that schedule, then it becomes easier for them to break it, too. A schedule is also useful for setting personal limits on how much time you work. It’s easy to get caught working all day when you’re at home without any breaks, but setting a hard start and stop time helps you better manage your time. Try setting your schedule weekly so you can adjust for any appointments or errands that need to be done that week.
This kind of goes without saying, but there are different ways to show respect.
You love your roommate. You at least like them, or else why would you be living together? But being together all day, every day, can cause conflict and arouse feelings of resentment you didn’t even know existed. That’s why no matter how well you get along with each other, it’s crucial that you set some time aside for yourself. There are a few ways you can do that:
The goal is to be alone, so you give yourself time to sit with your own thoughts. Always having to be in the presence of someone else can be draining, and if either of you feels off, then that can trigger unnecessary bickering. Avoid that as much as possible by always finding time within the day to be by yourself. Looking for more work from home tips? Read our article on tips to set yourself up to work from home and how to find a work from home job in Canada.
We’re all navigating this new normal together. While some are impacted more profoundly than others, we’re all affected in some way. Finding the right way to work from home when you have roommates can be challenging. It’s tempting to break the guidelines you set for yourself or not create any guidelines at all. But you always want to be your best and produce work you can be proud of, so having those conversations with your roommates and figuring out your boundaries are necessary steps to making that possible. Sign up for Prepped to gain access to more resources to help you stay on track as you’re working from home.