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Advice for couples who double as business partners

Newlywed, new mom and first-time home buyer, Sarah is currently playing out her exciting life in Phoenix, Arizona. She recently gave up her job in finance to stay at home with her baby girl, who between bath time and feeding time, keeps ...

Couples who work together

Most couples agree that they love spending as much time as they can with their partner, but they like having a daily break while at work, too. But what about couples who work together?
Husband and wife working together

Whether at home or in an office, it can be challenging for couples to combine work and play without driving each other bonkers!

In order to prevent useless fights, couples need to learn ways to make — and keep — the peace. Here, we're providing tips for couples who work together either at home or in an office.

Working together at home

For those who don't work together, working at home with your spouse may seem like a dream come true (the grass is always greener, right?). You can have breakfast and lunch together, chat throughout the day and go on afternoon walks. Sounds like heaven — but if you're actually living in this situation, you know that it's not always as nice as it seems. You never get a “break” or time to yourself. Also, if one of you is having a bad day, the other person is totally aware and it takes away from the excitement you feel when you finally get to see each other after a long day's work.

Tips for couples working together at home include:

  • Have separate offices. At the very least, have two separate work areas. You both need to be able to focus on your own job without being distracted by the other person.
  • Set your own schedule. Are you an early riser but your spouse prefers to work late? That's OK — create a schedule that works for you.
  • Designate time to spend together. Make a habit of spending some time during your day with your spouse. Maybe you want to eat lunch together every afternoon or take a 15-minute break in the afternoon to chat. It's up to you — but having a small amount of time set aside to talk to your spouse eliminates disruptions when you're both working.
Disclaimer: If you and your spouse run a business together at home, you may need to share an office and set office hours that work for the both of you. You should still designate a specific slot of time to simply reconnect throughout the day, though.

Working in an office together

Almost everyone knows (or is) a couple that met through work. While there's nothing wrong with this, it's important to remain professional and not let your personal life interfere with your job.

The following tips will help you and your partner do just that:

  • Don't carpool once a week. Though carpooling saves on gas, this is your only chance to have some alone time, run errands after work or make separate lunch plans.
  • Keep PDA to a minimum. If your husband comes to your desk at the end of the day and greets you with a kiss, that's perfectly acceptable. But know that excessive PDA can make others uncomfortable, especially in the workplace, so keep it to a minimum.
  • Set clear boundaries. Keep work at work and your personal life at home. At the office, there's no need to discuss personal matters — save that for the car ride home. Same goes for work talk — it's normal to discuss it at home every once in a while, but make sure to focus on your relationship instead of your work life.

Doubling as business partners

And finally — there are those lucky couples who actually run a business together. This is a challenging feat for even the strongest of couples.

Three things are certain, though:

  • Communication is key. Just because your spouse is your business partner doesn't mean you can't speak up about changes you think are necessary. On the flip side, it also doesn't give you the right to be bossy or rude. Communicate your needs clearly, as you would to a regular business associate.
  • Use each other's strengths. The beauty of working with your spouse is you know them better than you know anyone else. Separate your work into areas that allow you each to focus on your strengths and run the business the most efficiently.
  • Continue bonding as a couple. Those that run a business together tend to lose sight of who they are as a couple. Continue to go on date nights, cook romantic meals at home and partake in hobbies together. Don't let your spouse strictly become your business partner.

Check out this Real love story: From business partners to marriage >>

More tips for couples

Married with babies: How to keep the spark alive
Moving in with him: How to work from home together
How to avoid marital depression

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