Office Mates for Better or Worse

March 26, 2010 | By | Comments (0)

IStock_000007243369XSmall My new “office mate” started this week and I’m truly worried that we are not meshing well. First, he used all the paper in the printer and didn’t replace it. Then he needed step-by-step instructions on how to use the speakerphone for a conference call. Later, I found his dirty lunch dishes stacked next to the bathroom sink. When I called him out for his behavior he replied, "Don't we have an admin to take care of this stuff?"

Like all new employees, he needs to be educated on how it works around here, and I was really more than happy to teach him. But when this guy made unwelcome sexual advances over coffee I realized I had a much more serious problem on my hands.

Just who is this cad you wonder? Yep, he’s my husband.

My loving husband, to whom I have been married for more than10 years, started working from home this week. I’ve been working from home for years with great success. I transformed our tiniest bedroom (the former nursery) into a pretty space that fuels my creative soul. It’s perfect for writing, research and conducting conference calls. It’s quiet, filled with natural light and suits the way I like to work.

Apparently, it also suits him. He’s taken over my office, spread his files and paperwork everywhere, and driven me to seek refuge at the kitchen counter. Sure there are other spaces in the house that could be appropriate for a second home office, but our situation is complicated by the fact that our house is on the market. Most buyers only want to see one office space and let’s be honest, it’s pretty hard to keep home office spaces tidy.

When I agreed to marry this wonderful man, I never imagined we’d be working side-by-side, at home or anywhere else. Yes, I know there are couples with successful businesses together, but we’re the kind of couple that benefits from a little space. Usually on Fridays I’m desperately dialing babysitters, so husband and I can have a date night. This week, however, I decided to go out with the ladies. Like everything else in life, this is going to take some getting used to.

Next week we’re going on a house-hunting trip and I’ve already added to my list of must-haves adequate space for two home offices. Come to think of it, maybe that house with the three-car garage could work! Husband could make a nice little office for himself in there.

Have you ever worked with your spouse or had an office romance? Do you have any tips for successfully sharing your home office space?