November 8, 2015

Rachel Strella

Working from Home + Working with Spouse = A Unique Reality

work from homeI work from home. And I work with my husband. All day… Every day…

Depending on your preferences, this could be a dream job or your worst nightmare.

For me, though, I only wish it were that easy to categorize.  Before you think I’m just trying to be funny, allow me to explain.

I am a business owner, but I’m also a social media manager who oversees a myriad of details with our diverse client base. That’s a 24-7-head-down-working-kind-of-job. On an average day, I’m writing content, researching, managing the staff, corresponding with the clients, and planning. But no day is average. At any given moment, LinkedIn could decide to change its API and create a day-long headache. Dropbox for Business could crash and eliminate access to my files for days. Someone could troll a client page requiring us to put out a fire – and fast!  A client could be involved in a lawsuit at a moment’s notice. Actually, all these scenarios happened in the past few weeks, that is why I am using remote screen monitoring software to make sure everybody is doing what they are supposed to.

As you can see, there’s a lot of detailed work and there’s a lot that can happen at once.  And it’s because of this, that I’m thankful I work with my husband.  Nathan has his own business, but by default (or victim) of marriage, he helps me, too!

Sometimes at 6:00 am or 10:00 pm. Sometimes in the middle of a workout. Sometimes while we’re having dinner. And since he’s my husband, I can ask him to do things – demand things, rather – that I wouldn’t ask of an employee or contractor.  I sneak in spouse-related tasks like unloading the dishwasher and folding the laundry!

Yes, it’s a dream job. Nathan has my back – and he works harder – than anyone I could pay to do the job.  And yes, it’s a nightmare, too.  Most days are so busy, we rarely take time to enjoy that we work from home.  In fact, as I type this, it’s 5:00 pm on an Indian summer Friday.  Working from home – with or without a spouse – is hard work and, at times, I would argue that it’s even more demanding than a 9-5 job, because I am ultimately responsible for the business revenue.

It’s a job that isn’t always what it seems. It takes a special breed to work from home and to work with their spouse.  It’s a combination of discipline and teamwork.  I am convinced that only those who live this reality can truly understand. I’m lucky because I love working with Nathan and I love working from home. In fact, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Working with your spouse is not for everyone, and for him, it’s sometimes a thankless job. So today, I am saying, ‘thank you.’

What you about you? Do you work with your significant other? A family member? Could you?

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4 comments on “Working from Home + Working with Spouse = A Unique Reality”

  1. Sounds like a great set up. I too have the same thing going with my wife, Colleen. She is the backbone of our company, we are general contractors in Toronto. We work together 24/7 as well and it has worked for us for many years now.

    Great blog!

  2. "I would argue that it’s even more demanding than a 9-5 job"

    It absolutely is. When you work a 9-5, you go in, put in your time, then clock out - not just from the job, but clock out mentally from everything job related. You don't have to worry about anything when you aren't actually at work - and why would you?

    But when you work from home, it's a different story entirely...

    1. You are 100% correct about that, Fred. It's exhausting mentally, at times.

      It's funny, though, I still wouldn't trade it for the world.

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