1. Watch your mouth
The stress created by distracting background noise is real, so don’t be a noise polluter, says psychologist Melanie Katzman, author of Connect First. “If you’re talking on the phone and walking around as a way to stretch your legs, you may be interfering with people trying to work,” she says.
2. Respect downtime
Just because someone is at the refrigerator doesn’t mean they’re open to having a conversation, says Katzman. They may be brainstorming or mentally prepping for a meeting. Be clear when you are available to be interrupted.
3. Play tag team
If children are learning remotely at home, parents might want to create split shifts, says Katzman. “Maybe one works mornings and the other afternoons,” she says. Then try to find a designated space for those office hours. “The living room can’t be [both] an office and a classroom without stress.”
4. Forget water-cooler talk
Your partner is not your work coach or colleague, so keep the complaints about your office politics out of your daily conversation. “They have their own issues, and you’re better off calling a real coworker or friend to vent,” says Katzman.