Living with a Roommate Who Works from Home

For some, the days of packing a lunch, getting dressed up, and going to work are long gone. Whether it’s every day or occasionally, at least 43% of American spend some time working remotely each year. Despite being fairly common, many people are not familiar with this new work structure. If your new roommate works from home, you may be wondering, “What does this mean for me?”

Below are a few things to consider if your roommate clocks in and out from the comfort of the couch!

  1. If you or your roommate regularly work from home, it’s important to establish reasonable boundaries. Communicate, communicate, communicate! They may request that you not vacuum during a conference call or interrupt them during a certain time frame. Discuss the accommodations they may need and try to find a compromise. This may mean that they find a coffee shop or library to work at a few days a week!
  2. Some people who work remotely sign in and out of work at the same time every day. They have a regular schedule and will usually know in advance when they will be working. Others have more flexibility, so don’t be surprised if your roommate has a 10am-6pm schedule one day and 7am-4pm the next! If you like to plan your time with your roommate’s schedule in mind, be sure to touch base about when they plan to work.
  3. Remote work is work! Sure, your roommate is in their bedroom at their computer—for all you know they could be watching Netflix or playing a game. As mentioned, working from home is fairly common and your roommate likely has a long to-do list. Resist the urge to check in regularly to chat, unless you’ve established this with your roommate. You never know when they might be on a call, in a virtual meeting, or watching a webinar!
  4. If you work at home and have a home office or workstation, make sure your roommate is aware of your schedule and establish how you prefer to handle interruptions.

The option to work remotely provides flexibility for employees from a variety of fields, and every arrangement is different. It may mean your roommate needs a little extra privacy around the house during their workday–but it also may mean they’ll be able to join your for lunch!