Your Partner And You

A common difficulty with home businesses, especially at the beginning, is the change in the family dynamics when one party begins working at home. It is vital that expectations and boundaries are made clear before the shift, so that everyone in the household knows where they stand.

If you are living alone, there are probably no other people affected by the change in lifestyle. But when you have a partner and work from home, the change can affect your partner almost as much, or perhaps even more, than it does you! It is therefore important to remember that setting up a home business is a joint decision affecting both you and your family. A resentful partner can be worse for your business than any economic changes in the market.

Managing Expectations

In the early stages of setting up your home business, it is vital to be sure that both you and everyone else in your home know what to expect from the change. First and foremost, this means talking to your partner about what they expect and want from this important career move.

Putting a clear list of goals and expectations in writing can help clarify and perhaps prevent problems occurring. Even in the healthiest and most caring of relationships, you still need to discuss the nuts and bolts. For example, asking your partner where you should place the home office even if you think you already know, will enable potential areas of tension to be ironed out before they become a problem. It will also help make your partner feel secure and connected to the process. This will make their cooperation and support that much more likely. Remember they live there too! Once you know what both of you expect and want from the change, it becomes much easier to work through any difficulties.


Two other big issues are the changes in routine and the changes in your financial situation. Who is going to do the dishes, mop the floor, or do the shopping now? Even who picks up the kids from school may be different. It is vital to make sure that now you are working from home the whole load of running the household isn't falling on your shoulders as well, or having your partner feeling that they are doing everything. Otherwise you may both end up petty point scoring and feeling used.

Financially things maybe also be difficult, without a regular income, as it takes time and money to set up a business. Most businesses, after all, don't make a profit for the first year! This is obviously a large burden to place on your savings or your partner's job, and it is important that you both understand that.

Advice For Partners

Even if your partner has been unhappy at work for some time, starting out on their own is still scary. Regardless of the fact that it is the opportunity they may have been waiting for. Although your partner needs you to support them in this venture it is a big step for you as well! However supporting your partner doesn't mean that you have to go along unconditionally with everything they want; it is your home too, after all! It is only by you being comfortable with and expressing any difficulties you have with all the inevitable changes that you will be able to offer your partner the support they need to be successful.

Why not check out our other articles for more help and advice on running your home office.