Housemate rules around working from home

With 41 per cent of remote working professionals based in shared housing, the last two months has seen dining room tables and kitchens around the country converted into co-working spaces. For the first time, housemates are spending a prolonged period with their co-habitants – switching occasional interaction in the evenings and weekends to almost 24/7.

Recruitment company Walters People says they are also increasingly hearing of more young professionals moving back into their childhood homes – with some having spent more than 15 years living apart from parents and siblings. There has been a lot of discussion around physical work set-ups at home, remote-working tech and how to manage teams.

Here’s some ground rules for working alongside co-habitants.

  • Which areas can be used for what kind of work: For example, you might agree that the area with the best internet connection or phone signal is designated for important calls and video conferences, or that all phone calls need to be made in your respective bedrooms so as not to disturb others.
  • Assigning domestic duties: Normally, household chores and cooking may be done by whomever is available, but while everyone is confined indoors, it’s important to share the responsibility and ensure that no one person is burdened with keeping the house in order.
  • Be considerate: It may seem simple enough, but when people are suddenly forced to spend a great deal of time together, tensions can easily rise and conflicts may erupt from even the smallest annoyance. That’s why it’s more important than ever to be considerate of those you live with — don’t hog the communal spaces, clean up after yourself (and clean yourself!) and try to keep noise levels to a minimum during the day.
  • Enjoy the company: At a time when many are feeling shut off and disconnected, one benefit for those in shared living spaces is the access to regular interaction with other people. Take advantage of this opportunity to enjoy one another’s company — use the long evenings to make meals together and socialise or play games.
  • Have a morning round-up: During the roundup, you can discuss your daily schedules, including any important calls or video conferences during which you need quiet, or any pressing deadlines that mean you don’t want to be disturbed. Try building a simple household planner using sticky notes to make everyone aware.


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