‘Husband is driving me mad by working from home and I don’t know what

Dear Coleen

My husband used to work away a lot and was in the company office every day. However, at the start of lockdown, his office said all staff should work from home.

He’s in marketing and we were worried for a while about whether he’d keep his job. Luckily, his firm has restructured and he’s going to be OK. But they’ve said staff can ask to work from home going forwards, and my husband wants to.

The trouble is, he’s driving me mad.

We have two children aged six and eight, and I don’t work. I love being at home during the day when everybody is either at work or school.

I have a nice group of local friends who I meet regularly for coffee or the gym.

We have a dog, and I love being at home, cooking and cleaning, or pottering about in the garden.

One of the hardest parts of ­lockdown has been having everybody at home on top of each other, especially as we only have a small house.

My husband says he can work from home using our kitchen table, but he’s always on loud calls, and the thought of him being at home every single day fills me with dread.

I just want him to go back to the office so I can have my house to myself. Should I say something to him?

Coleen says

It’s hard to say to somebody you don’t want them to be at home all day, but you could say to him, “Listen I’m really worried we’re going to drive each other nuts. I know you don’t think I work but I’m a mum and a housewife, and
the only time I have to myself is when the kids are at school and you’re in the office”.

Everybody’s else’s routine – like the kids – is going back to normal, and it’s only fair yours does too. Failing that, have you got a garden office or spare bedroom he can work in? Could he just work from home a few days a week?

Remind him that when the kids get home from school they’re going to be loud, and they may sometimes bring friends home with them.

It’s not fair that you all have to be quiet when he’s working and you don’t need the added stress of constantly telling the kids off for being loud when dad’s on an important work call.

Working from home was necessary during lockdown, but it’s not an ideal set-up, especially when you have a busy, young family. And it affects everybody.

My son’s girlfriend, who lives with us, was working from home during ­lockdown, and is only now starting to go back to the office. It was really hard when she’d be on a call and expect the whole house to be quiet.

Your husband needs to think long and hard about the practicalities of working from home.

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