Keeping your personal and professional lives separate can be really tough when you work at the same place with your significant other. Here's what you should discuss to make sure your relationship doesn't affect your work, and vice-versa. Image from royharryman.
Even if you don't work on the same team or in the same department, agreeing on how you'll handle the following situations will make your relationship easier.
- Should we keep our time outside the office a shop talk-free zone? Is the front door where shop talk stops? The commute home? What about if you go out for drinks with coworkers?
- How will we socialise at work? You don't want to cut off your professional circle by eating lunch only with each other every day. How much do you feel comfortable seeing your partner during the workday? You can also lay out rules for PDA, and discussing any personal matters at work.
- What will we do if one of us is struggling at work? It can be hard to envision a future where one of you is laid off, fired or hates their job and the company. But you should talk about those things now, and how that could affect the other partner's ability to focus on their own job.
- What will we do if we're both laid off? If your company is going through layoffs, you could both lose your job around the same time. Make a plan, and start an emergency fund, so all your eggs aren't in one basket
- How will we make sure we each have enough "me time" before or after work? Most people use their commutes and lunch breaks to recharge and have a couple of minutes alone, but if you work together you might spend your commute or lunch with your partner. How will you two adapt without isolating each other?
These are just a starting point. The more you talk about it, the easier it will be to maintain a boundary between what happens at work and outside of work, which can have a big impact on your relationship and career.
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