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Top 10 Tips for working with your spouse…

Top 10 Tips for working with your spouse…

A survival guide to sharing your office with your significant other.

Once again I find myself sharing a workplace with my husband and despite what you might be thinking… I'm really looking forward to it!

To put this in context, Graham and I have worked together before, for about 9 years, in our Digital Agency (UP for Digital). From which we started, which led me to leave the cosyness of our office 4 years ago and forge a new path in Industrial Estate-land.

We have now sold the Agency and Graham (bless him) has completed the 3-year earn-out (way to go!) while I've been messing about with cocktails and finding increasingly ingenious ways of keeping me and the MBB team warm, in what was a freezing cold industrial unit.

With Graham footloose and fancy-free I did not lose any time in recruiting him to help build @microbarbox, and much to my surprise he readily leapt at the opportunity!

Here are my Top Ten Tips for working with your spouse or significant other:

  1. Every task needs just one owner. Divide and conquer, never share the responsibility of a task.
  2. Understand that 'night golf' is from 3pm onwards and will require an early cut.
  3. Play to your strengths. Hopefully your skill sets are very different, in which case, ask each other for help, this is not seen as a weakness but rather giving the other a chance to show-off.
  4. Beware that a spikey email between spouses may trigger a low flying laptop*.
  5. Remember to 'praise in public, chastise in private'. Referring to your spouse as 'my best hire' can go either way though. Be warned.
  6. Take time to celebrate. A luxury hotel suite can double as an AGM location. While it's just the two of you on the board, you may as well take advantage of it.
  7. Appreciate that you both have 'good' ideas, but they only emerge as 'great' when married to additional 'good' ideas. I believe it was Mrs Kipling who thought of icing the humble Bakewell tart.
  8. Wait until they have fully committed to the new role and turned up on their first day, before you break the news that you don't have any tea-making facilities.
  9. Keep it professional. Whilst at work only refer to your other half by their christian name. Never darling, gorgeous, poppet or sh*thead.
  10. Enjoy Friday beers together, and revel in the fact that you now have a whole new bunch of topics to discuss which should keep you both amused for another 10 years!

And if all else fails pour yourself a large cocktail.

Kate Darracott

*On one occasion during our previous workplace sharing stint, my relentless detail questioning evoked a reaction so strong that Graham hurled his laptop across the office, hitting a wall before taking a large divot out of the office flooring. Resulting in several stunned colleagues' faces and a large bill for new carpeting. Who the hell invented the open plan office concept?!