Working At Home With Your Significant Other

For some, working at home with a significant other is a dream come true; but it can be a bit of a nightmare for others. In relationships, we constantly navigate the balance of autonomy versus closeness, and too much of either can cause relationships to break down. When you work beside your spouse, this delicate balance is challenged and the scale can tip toward too much closeness and not enough space.

Without adequate space, work stress can spill into your relationship. Conversely, that lack of space can mean you can’t break away from your relationship problems, even for a few hours. It’s important to set expectations and boundaries if you’re working from home with your spouse. Here are four ways to make the arrangement work.

Set expectations from the start

As soon as possible, sit down with your significant other and layout what you each need to work effectively. Some partners need silence and few interruptions, while others thrive on having background noise and enjoy checking in and having lunch with the other person. You can have a general conversation before you begin your work-from-home schedule, and regular, ongoing conversations to review your workdays. It’s recommended having a 10-minute expectation meeting at the start of each workday so that each partner can review what they have on their schedule and when they need peace and cannot be interrupted when kids need to be taken care of, what appointments are there during the day, and so on.

Schedule alone time

Just like you would block off time on your calendar for a meeting during work hours, we suggest you block off time for yourself during after-work hours. You can use this time to do anything you please: take a bath, catch up with a friend, read, review life goals, meditate, do extra work, play video games, everyone should have at least one — and preferably two — “alone time” slots allotted each week. Though it may feel odd to schedule time apart from someone you love, you are doing so to restore the balance of autonomy and closeness in your relationship, which will ultimately help you thrive as a couple.

Create separate workspaces

If your home allows it, consider creating individual workspaces during work hours. When at all possible, we recommend working on different levels if you are in a home — or putting a screen in between the two of you, if you are in a studio apartment situation — and, when it is safe, for one or both of you to work at a coffee shop or library to maintain some separateness. That distance can create some intrigue, and it “decreases opportunities to interrupt each other, argue, or release stress on the other person because they are nearby.”

Establish connecting relationship rituals

Despite being together (almost) 24/7, you might find yourself less connected to your partner than ever. Work time can eke into personal time, laptops can enter spaces that are typically reserved for connection — such as living rooms and bedrooms — and because you’re always together, you may think you don’t need to put in as much effort to nurture the relationship — but that’s not the case. It’s important to make time for connection points throughout the day, like a pre-work hug and an after-work sharing of the day — like you would have done after coming home from the office. Or, consider starting an evening ritual that allows you to transition from work time to couple time, such as exercising together. It’s also a great idea to have weekly events to look forward to, like Tuesday takeout and movie night or a walk on the weekends. Just as you prioritize how to get all your work done, you also need to make sure you’re giving your relationship the attention it requires.

Answering ‘Tell me something interesting about yourself’

When interviewing for a job, an employer often uses icebreaker questions to learn more about you and your interest in their company. By preparing for these kinds of questions, you can come up with more thoughtful responses that are more authentic to who you are. One common question you may need to answer is ‘Tell me something interesting about yourself.’ Here we further discuss why employers ask this interview question and strategies you can use when answering it.

Why employers ask ‘Tell me something interesting about yourself’

Employers ask, ‘Tell me something interesting about yourself’ to learn more about your personality. They may also use it to ease into the interview before asking more challenging questions. This question gives you the perfect opportunity to emphasize an interesting fact or skill about yourself. Likewise, you can use it to share a cool experience. Crafting a unique, memorable response can help you stand out among other candidates.

How to answer ‘Tell me something interesting about yourself’? Follow these steps to more successfully answer ‘Tell me something interesting about yourself’:

Reflect on major life experiences

Use this question as an opportunity to highlight any interesting experiences you have. You could discuss things like major accomplishments, travels, volunteer experiences, unique skills, or any hobbies you enjoy. Choose one that especially stands out and makes you a memorable candidate.

Relate your answer to the job

Although the actual interesting fact doesn’t have to relate to the job, your answer should somehow connect the two. For instance, if you studied abroad, you could say that experience has helped you become more independent and adaptable. Likewise, if you shared that you love photography, you could say how this hobby inspires more creative thinking.

Find a balance between professional and fun

This question is simply a lighthearted way employers can kick off the interview and get to know about your personality. When choosing an answer, you can keep it fun and even a little humorous. Of course, you should also keep it professional, so only share work-appropriate facts about yourself.

Leadership Theories for Career Advancement

An in-depth understanding of leadership theories is essential for career advancement in different industries, and especially so if you want a position that requires you to lead, interact with, and manage groups of people. By finding out what constitutes a good leader, you can take the necessary steps to become one. Learn more about the different established leadership theories and their foundations in this guide.

A leadership theory explains the characteristics, qualities, and behavioral patterns that enable some people to become excellent leaders. By analyzing these various aspects, you can get better insights into leadership and leadership development practices. You can integrate different theories to create an effective leadership model that can help you to identify context and situations to resolve real-life workplace issues.

Foundational concepts of leadership

Foundational concepts of leadership enable a better understanding of leadership theories. Here are some of them:

  • Character: The characters of successful leaders generally comprise of socially approved ethics, morals, values, and traits, and they try to lead others with responsibility, accountability, humility, and integrity. As they seem to possess moral authority, people are more willing to listen to them and follow their influence and direction. That makes it easier for them to guide their followers into adopting specified methods to achieve desired goals for group benefit. Top companies understand the importance of character, especially when it comes to managing projects and making the right business decisions. That’s why they hire personnel for character and train them for skills.
  • Characteristics: Successful leaders have distinct characteristics that they are born with or develop. These include intelligence, extroverted personality, self-awareness, confidence, and ambition. Other traits common to most leaders are the ability to commit to something, to stay motivated, to be persistent, to be persuasive, to take well-thought-out decisions, to remain calm, and to display courage in front of setbacks.
  • People practices: Depending on the situation, good leaders will have the ability to institute different practices. They will be able to influence their followers into performing specified roles to achieve desired outcomes. The leaders might lead by example or offer rewards or punishments to get the work done. They must be able to select the right person for a position, and monitor and evaluate their performances regularly. They must understand how to support and direct them as needed, and must be open-minded enough to take inputs from them, when necessary, for work improvement.
  • Institutional practices: For effective leadership within an institution, the leaders must have a sound understanding of the institution’s structure, its goals, the direction it wants to take, and the work practices it must implement. They can then come up with the right systems, policies, and procedures for institutional development.
  • Context: Leadership happens within a particular context and prevailing situation. Leaders can produce good results only if they are able to adjust their strategies to the social, economic, geographic, demographic, and regulatory environment that they and their followers are in. To succeed, they must understand the current situation and also be ready to deal with the changes that could occur in the future.
  • Outcomes: Organizations put people in leadership positions to achieve the outcomes the organizations desire. A leader might employ different strategies and improve team performances to get tangible results. A measure of a successful leader is their ability to get things done and deliver what they promise.

Types of leadership theories

Trait theories

Some people assume that a leader is born, not made. Certain innate qualities like intelligence, intuition, charm, and courage enabled some people to stand out from among their peers and become leaders. However, more modern trait theories suggest that people can become strong leaders if they can develop their emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills, enabling them to be more motivated and driven to get things done.

Transformational theories

According to the transformational theory, successful leaders tend to cultivate good work relationships and maintain open communication with their employees in the organization. They explain the significance of the work they want them to undertake, motivate them to do well, and lead by example.

Transactional theories

In transactional theories of leadership, the focus is on maintaining the organizational hierarchy to achieve the desired outcome. The leaders supervise projects and motivate their team members to complete allotted tasks in a given order. They might offer rewards to spur the teams to finish projects successfully, on time, and on budget. In contrast, they might impose penalties if the team performance is subpar.

Situational theories

To be effective, leaders must adjust their behavior and their strategies to suit the current circumstances. They may have to depend on their intuition, collected data, existing skills, or previous experience to judge how to proceed in a given situation. They must remain flexible and adopt different methods to deal with any eventualities that might arise.

Importance of leadership theories

Theories of leadership are important as they provide insights into why some people become leaders. You can examine their personal characteristics and behavior patterns and find out how these influenced their followers. You can adopt the leadership principles that suit your situation and develop your own leadership skills.

Strong leadership is vital for the survival of any organization, and people with leadership potential tend to be successful and hold high, decision-making positions that can affect the livelihoods of others. Hiring managers often look to hire capable people who can lead teams and complete projects without delays and on budget. If you are applying for jobs, you may have a higher chance of impressing the interviewers and being selected for a position if you can demonstrate leadership potential in addition to your other qualifications.