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Across the globe, workplaces have asked their employees to work remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic. While this method of social distancing is key for helping prevent more spread of infection, it poses new challenges for people who are working from home alongside their significant other for the first time. Among the thorny thoughts and questions that may arise for couples in this new terrain are: “What if we have a conference call at the same time?” “How will I focus with my partner sitting next to me?” “If he washes the dishes one more time while I’m working, I am going to kill him.” 

These concerns about focus, productivity, and overall relationship health are extremely common. Nearly 70% of people worry that their work performance will be negatively impacted while working from home due to the coronavirus, and over 70% also agree that the outbreak has negatively affected their close relationships, according to a Thrive Global original survey of 5,000 respondents about coronavirus pain points. 

If you share these worries, or have already begun to see some negative relationship effects of working from home, try these science-backed Microsteps, which will help you implement new routines that will keep you focused, productive, and happy in your relationship. 

Today, take five minutes to create a daily schedule for you and anyone else staying home with you, and put it where everyone can see it. 

Sticking to a schedule helps you stay on task and focus, and the same is true for your children or other family members who are staying home. It will also give everyone clarity on when others need their space, like for a meeting or call. 

At the end of your workday, take ten minutes to unwind alone before making yourself available to spend time with your partner. 

This “buffer time” can help you to release any stresses from the day and recenter so you can be your best self with your partner in the evening.

Working From Home in the New Normal is a data-driven storytelling initiative from SAP and Thrive Global, bringing together insights powered by the Qualtrics Remote Work Pulse with actionable Microsteps and stories from Thrive to help you navigate working from home. Visit daily for the latest data and stories to help improve your focus, prioritization, and well-being.

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