How to click at work: Six tips for working with your partner

Business Insights
01/11/2017

Could you work with your partner or would you find yourself wanting to kill them within minutes of setting foot inside the office?


Doran Gabriel, who owns London based photography firm Image1st.co.uk, hired his girlfriend Diana Cizkova as studio manager just months after they started dating – and now the loved-up pair are sharing their advice on how other couples who work together can balance their professional and personal lives.


Among the tips that the couple recommended for working partners are making arguments worthwhile, keeping your personal lives interesting and clearly defining both of your professional goals.


Here are Doran and Diana’s six top tips for couples that live and work together.


  1. Laughter is the best medicine

It’s important when working with your partner that the pair of you have a good sense of humour, and are able to laugh off any issues that occur.


There will be problems that test your working relationship, and laughing them off is the best way to keep tensions from boiling over.


  1. Keep your personal lives interesting

Spending all your professional and personal lives together means you’ll need to be more adventurous with what you do as couple once the working day is over.


'Date nights have a place and if you're going to do them then leave the house,' they said. 'Do not Netflix and chill. Being more adventurous and planning fun experiences will create memories that last a lifetime, like boxing together or bike riding in the New Forest, tree top adventures, archery, boat trips, hiking or even sky diving and inject the thrill back into your relationship.'


  1. Clearly define both of your goals

Set out from the start what you both hope to achieve from your working relationship. This way, you’ll both have a clear understanding of each other’s goals and aspirations, and will be better prepared to work towards them.


Diana: 'Success for me looks like love, security, family.'


Doren continued: 'When you have that as your goal, those little bickering moments don't matter. You have to take a step back and go 'this is b******t', you know, talking about what colour font this is or how social media needs to be addressed, when the bigger picture is more important than the little bickery stuff. And that rebalances the relationship.'


  1. When you argue, make it worthwhile

The couple said: 'If you're going to have battles of the mind, then there is nothing more rewarding than a creative debate. Working through an argument means your love can survive anything, it's just not real love if you can't argue with your partner.


'Your relationship will never be boring if you're constantly challenging each other, if you think arguing is going to break you, think again, it may just be the bond that keeps you together.'


  1. Give each other some space

'I think it is very important to have that freedom,' Diana said. 'When I know I need to have my own time I go out with my girlfriends and I give him a breather as well when he wants to do work or go out with his friends. It's especially important because we spend 99 per cent of our time together, at work, at home, on holiday.'


  1. Blow off some steam

The couple go to boxing classes near their home in northeast London, as a way of allowing each of them to realise any pent up frustrations they have about each other.


Diana said: 'We signed up for boxing lessons together as one of our ways of letting off steam and after a particularly stressful day it's been a great way to unwind.


'I've nearly knocked him out a couple of times and sent a few teeth almost flying. – it's a great way to take out your frustration.'


Doren added: 'I love Diana to bits, but there are times at work when I want to kill her. She will challenge me when others back down and she will usually be right...


'If Diana doesn't agree with something, she definitely hits me harder. Boxing is a great leveller and the best way we've found to get rid of any issues.'


Boxing may not be the answer for you, but finding something that allows you to vent any frustrations is a great solution to the kinds of workplace stresses that are inevitable when working with a partner.

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