Tips for having space in a shared home

With the outbreak of Coronavirus affecting us all in one way or another, it’s a good time to look at how we can keep our sanity when living with other people and the importance of having space in a shared home.

For those of us that live with others or have moved back home and are sharing space with family or friends, it’s really useful to understand boundaries and how to set them. You might be spending a lot of time together if all of you are now working from home, so how can you make sure you don’t fall out over who’s working where or who gets to take their conference call in a certain room?

Agree on set rooms

When working from home, especially if there are a few of you in the house, you should decide where to set up base or which spots are allocated for a home-style hot-desking.

Just because you’re not in your usual office, it doesn’t mean that you can’t create a nice desk space for yourself. This way, it means you all know who’s working where and know not to disturb them.

If possible, try to work in spaces where there won’t be many interruptions, as there may be in the kitchen where your family/flatmates will go throughout the day.

Share diaries to avoid interruption

To avoid that classic BBC interview where Prof Robert Kelly was interrupted live on air by his kids happening to you, consider sharing your diaries when calls and video chats might be taking place.

It’s also good to note that, if you are still all working, the day should still be classed as a working day, even though a lot of the country has shifted to home working, it’s still business as usual.

Make time for ‘time-outs’

Work can be stressful, and at times throughout the day you’ll find yourself taking breaks. It might be difficult to take a good enough break if there are others in the house too.

It could be a good idea to sit together and agree upon how you want to take breaks. This is also worthwhile as you can understand that at some times you might not want to talk about work and can agree on how you can say ‘I don’t want to talk about work right now’ in fewer words.

Plan time together and time apart

When you don’t live with someone, you would tend to plan the time that you spend together, and do what you want in your time apart.

It’s important that you still plan this time, or else you might become irritated with how much time you’re spending together. Plan to watch films, cook meals, or play games together, and in the other time remember to do what you want.

Talk about issues that arise

If you find that you’re getting along with this whole social distancing thing quite well, but still have a few teething problems, talk them through with whoever you’re living with.

Communication is key and you’re all in that situation together!

Have you found yourself staying in with your family, partner or flatmates during this outbreak? What’s been working for you for having space in a shared home? Leave a comment below to help others get by!

If you’d like to read more, you can learn about how to be more productive when working from home here.

For anyone that may find themselves spending more time with an abusive individual, you can contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline which is open 24/7 on 0808 2000 247 or via their website 

This Post Has 32 Comments

  1. Sarah Eliza

    This is really fitting with my current situation as I live in London with my sister and we’re both working from home – we’ve both been quite good in communicating about what we need to do and when we need time apart which has been great 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    1. Maddie

      Thank you for your comment! I hope you and your sister can continue to work well from home together 🙂

  2. Lisa Marie Alioto

    It’s an interesting time – you’re ideas are great for dealing with it!

    1. Maddie

      Thank you so much 🙂

  3. Jaya Avendel

    Communication is key; with many people suddenly working and schooling from home, all the issues and little hiccups that arise will best be solved with communication. I hope people will talk and bond in all the time they have together. 🙂

    1. Maddie

      I totally agree! Thank you for your comment 🙂

  4. Maxine Panlilio

    We can also try the free online classes! I’m trying one now and it’s very educatioal and enjoyable too!

    1. Maddie

      That’s great! I’ll definitely be doing an online class myself!

  5. mybrokenbronchi

    I love this, gives great advice about balancing time with friends whilst still having own privacy and space! Thanks for sharing x

    1. Maddie

      Thank you! 🙂

  6. Pragati Mahapatra

    Noone really thinks about feeling anxious in such a safe space as home, thanks for writing this X

    1. Maddie

      It’s something that may become common at the moment so it’s good to address! Thank you x

  7. Kat On Beauty

    This has some super tips. I’m a key worker and I think I’ll need some down time when im not at work so this will help. Thank you. X

    1. Maddie

      Thank you and I hope you are staying safe during this! Thank you for the work you’re doing x

  8. Christina Henry

    Our biggest rule is respecting each other. We’re all on different shifts so it’s vital that if someone’s sleeping everyone keeps quiet. This is how it’s been for over 10 years and it works

    1. Maddie

      Totally agree! Thank you for sharing your experience 🙂

  9. Bexa

    This is such a helpful post with lots of brilliant ideas 🙂 I live with my sister in a flat so we don’t have much space, although it has been working okay so far and we have even been doing home workouts from YouTube together. Like you say, having your own space is really important as well as good communication. It’s such an uncertain and anxious time, so thank you for sharing your positive suggestions <3 xx

    Bexa |

    1. Maddie

      Thank you so much 🙂 I’m glad it is useful! That sounds like a good idea with the home workouts! Xx

  10. Working from home is definitely not something I am use to, particularly when my whole family is also working from home as well – thanks for the great ideas though, I’ll be using them!

    1. Maddie

      I hope you can become more familiar with it soon, thank you 🙂

  11. I found your blog through a thread on Twitter. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
    I really like your suggestion for scheduling time apart while under the same roof. (It’s very important given the current situation.)
    All the best!

    1. Maddie

      I’m glad you found my post! Thank you, take care 🙂

  12. nortoncharity

    These are all such great tips and tricks. It is hard being in a shared space with someone for so long and not being able to go out and have your own “me time”. But these tips and tricks definitely make it more bearable, thanks for sharing!

    1. Maddie

      Thank you very much! Yes definitely, it’s a tricky and strange situation. Thank you 🙂

  13. Bri

    Such a necessary post, cabin fever feels worse when you’re in a shared space. Stay safe!

    1. Maddie

      Definitely, I’m glad you think it’s important to share! Stay safe xx

  14. rachelmarcelle1

    Nice post— my nerves are already feeling shot and meditation is so important to help with this!

    1. Maddie

      Thank you – I know what you mean!

    1. Maddie

      It really is! X

  15. Amit Pandey

    This is very insightful and informative. I really appriciate your help.Thanks for the tips .Will use them.

    1. Maddie

      I’m glad you found it helpful!

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