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 microbarbox.com, 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:
- Every task needs just one owner. Divide and conquer, never share the responsibility of a task.
- Understand that 'night golf' is from 3pm onwards and will require an early cut.
- 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.
- Beware that a spikey email between spouses may trigger a low flying laptop*.
- Remember to 'praise in public, chastise in private'. Referring to your spouse as 'my best hire' can go either way though. Be warned.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Keep it professional. Whilst at work only refer to your other half by their christian name. Never darling, gorgeous, poppet or sh*thead.
- 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.
*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?!