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4 ways to share a workspace with your kids and/or partner

It’s harder to get work done when the people around you aren’t your colleagues, but it’s not impossible.

4 ways to share a workspace with your kids and/or partner
[Illustration: Romualdo Faura]

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.

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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.

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