The federal government and certain employers are encouraging staff to work from home to combat the spread of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

If you’re one of the Canadians who is now working remotely, you may be excited to wear pyjamas all day and not commute in traffic. But you may not be as thrilled to spend every waking hour of the day with your spouse.

According to clinical psychologist and psychology professor at York University, Ami Rokach, it is your perspective on working in close quarters with your partner that determines whether the experience is enjoyable or not.

“If we perceive it as punishment, then it will affect our mood,” said Rokach, who has been studying relationships and loneliness for 40 years.

“It will elevate stress levels and that will influence the way we relate to our partner.”

Instead, Rokach recommends viewing quarantine as a temporary situation and a chance to work with your partner.

After both you and your spouse work throughout the morning, for example, you could have lunch, a cup of coffee or go for a walk together, just as you would with a colleague on your breaks.

Here are a few ways to make working from home with your partner easier:

Have separate work spaces

If you have enough space in your home, Toronto-based relationship and parenting expert Natasha Sharma said it’s a good idea to carve out different places for you and your spouse to work.

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