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Trying to work from home...

(21 Posts)
ClareAB Mon 25-Mar-19 12:32:32

I do a bit of freelance writing and today I am on a deadline for an article.
My DH is driving me mad, with constant interruptions. I have told him a few times that I really need some uninterrupted time in order to finish, but it seems to have gone completely over his head.
Once my train of thought is lost it can take ages to get back into it, and my anxiety levels are rising making it harder than ever to concentrate.
I have just got really cross at the latest interruption (shouting at me from another room about car insurance quotes) and told him he's being bloody disrespectful. He's stormed off into town in the car and I'm left feeling cross, frustrated and guilty.
Am I being unreasonable?

Carolina55 Mon 25-Mar-19 13:02:09


ayse Mon 25-Mar-19 13:04:14

Please don’t feel guilty. I think it’s not unreasonable to expect a bit of peace and quiet when you are on a deadline. I did an OU degree, finishing a couple of years ago. When I was writing assignments, I hated interruptions as it destroyed my train of thought, especially when I was composing a paragraph. I found it helped if I gave him prior warning and checked if he had anything we needed to talkabout before I started. I hope when he comes back he has finished being grumpy. Just keep going.

Willow500 Mon 25-Mar-19 13:10:35

Definitely not. I worked from home for over 10 years and in the last few years my husband was at home on a Friday which was one of my busiest days. He drove me mad constantly asking questions or simply going to sleep and snoring on the sofa! I sometimes resorted to headphones with music hmm Hope your husband is suitably contrite when he returns and you're able to use the time to finish your article before he gets back!

Septimia Mon 25-Mar-19 13:20:43

I worked part-time from home for a number of years. I had no real problems from family, but people in the village seemed to think that I was just sitting doing nothing and that I could be called upon for help, a chat, almost anything. No-one seemed to understand the meaning of 'WORK from home'.

Kandinsky Mon 25-Mar-19 13:21:29


brew&cupcake for you.

EllanVannin Mon 25-Mar-19 13:25:03

I'd have shouted goodbye and good riddance under my breath.

emmasnan Mon 25-Mar-19 13:26:46

I've worked from home for many years and however much I stress I am working, people still drop in. They will not see it as my working day and on the occasions I've said its not convenient they've looked quite put out!
Have often wondered what they would do if I dropped in on their workplace to chat and expect a cup of tea when they were busy.

B9exchange Mon 25-Mar-19 13:40:26

I agree he has no concept of the need to leave you in peace. However I am a little bit worried that you are now on GN, could there be a little bit of procrastination going on here? grin

Nanny27 Mon 25-Mar-19 15:14:30

Not quite the same thing but DH used to work a night shift and therefore sleep during the day. He found it impossible to explain to people that he wasn't available to take phone calls, answer the door, take in parcels for next door etc etc.

HildaW Mon 25-Mar-19 15:27:52

My OH worked from home for several years and we both very easily fell into the habit of respecting his 'office' times. There might have been the odd emergency that required some sort of communication and I would sort of do a virtual knock on the door and ask if it was ok to interrupt. All sounds a bit Stepford wives I know but he was so disciplined about his work time that I felt it was only natural to respect his working hours. I think that I'm probably a bit old fashioned but OH and I might have been married for years and have been through a lot together but we still see each other as needing our own space on occasion.
As to the shift working conundrum I have a friend who has a very stern sign she has up at her door explaining that her OH is a shift worker and not to knock.....its accompanied by a picture of their very large (but daft) Staffie and it seems to work.

M0nica Mon 25-Mar-19 15:42:15

DD worked from home for some years. She was a television subtitler and when she was 'live', subtitling the news or a football match, she could not take any notice of anyone at the door.

She spoke individidually to every deliveryman, postmen etc, carefully described her job and made arrangements for what they would do with deliveries, if she was working when they called. They were really good.

Perhaps, ClareAB, you could sit down with your DH, explain the problemto him in words of one syllable, choose a work room (upstairs?) and when working, go in there, jam the door shut, put on headphones and ignore any attempts to interupt you

He is just behaving like a spoilt child, the kind that stands outside the loo door crying and saying he wants you and is unbothered when you come out. Ignore him.
He only does it to annoy because he knows it teases

Anja Mon 25-Mar-19 16:42:00

I write too. Whenever I need time to really focus I send DH out to play golf. Otherwise just at that pivotal point where everything is about to come together he would interrupt, usually with some completely uninteresting or irrelevant remark or query or announcement.

ClareAB Mon 25-Mar-19 19:38:27

Well, it's still tense here. DH believes that I am being completely unreasonable and refuses to acknowledge in any way that he was being thoughtless.
'I gave you an hour and a quarter whilst I took the dog out' Grrhh!
Normally I have a little studio to write in, but having moved the final load over from our old house last week, it's packed to the gunnels with boxes to sort. Perhaps we're a little over tired from that... However we have 2 reception rooms as well as a dining room, so it's not as though there isn't room to have space.
I hate arguing. But right now, with this, I'm not caving in and pretending its OK. I'm still cross, and still feel like I'm being a shrew.
Don't get me wrong, he's a lovely man in the main. He just seems incapable of giving me any peace and quiet. The only way I can get space right now at home, is if I go to bed for a nap!

Grandad1943 Mon 25-Mar-19 20:40:03

I began working from home in the early 1990s and quickly realised that I had to set up a routine in much the same way as I would in my office in a large distribution centre where I had been based.

In that, I set up a dedicated office in a spare room at home and ensured I commenced work at 8:30 regularly every working day. I would stop for breaks at regular times and cease working at 5:00pm on an evening.

In the above way, my wife and other family members quickly accepted that was my working hours and did not disturb me in the same way they could not interrupt me when I had worked at the distribution centre.

To be successful in working at home, it also has to be remembered that it is a home and others are there in that capacity. Therefore, a dedicated phone for work purposes has to be available (easy in these days of mobiles) and documents etc should not be spread or kept anywhere but in that office.

Even in workplace offices, those at workstations will get disturbed by others making enquires of you or just "coming and going" especially in the modern open plan offices that are so common now.

At home, even with a dedicated office, you will hear other activities going on in the house, and anyone who wishes to work from a home will in many ways just has to get acquainted with that and work through it.

To conclude, if a room in the home is not available to be set up as a dedicated office I would not advise anyone to even consider working in such a circumstance.

BradfordLass72 Tue 26-Mar-19 10:44:24

No you are not being unreasonable.

I too am a writer although I no longer work much from home. When I did, I was often interrupted by friends dropping in for coffee, chats and more.

They did not seem to understand this was my job

I tried to explain, kindly, that if I worked in an office, factory, supermarket etc., they would not expect to call in and ask me to drop everything and entertain them.

Despite this, a few still ignored the plea. So I put a notice on my door. "Sorry, unless you have made a prior appointment, I am unavailable to callers."

Then I had to be very tough and ignore the ringing of the door bell and often the follow up phone calls.

Yes, ClareAB it's the loss of thread and the atmosphere in your head that is hardest to regain.

goldengirl Tue 26-Mar-19 10:59:01

I've been working from home too and I can empathise re: interruptions. The early days were worse when neighbours frequently asked to use my photocopier. It does interrupt a train of thought whatever your work is and eventually I politely had to say no which didn't go down well but was accepted eventually.

ClareAB Tue 26-Mar-19 12:44:05

Thank you all smile Peace has been restored, we're friends again. He still doesn't really get it, but life is too short :D

HildaW Tue 26-Mar-19 14:08:34

I can understand why there is quite a market for women's sheds.....'a room of one's own'....with apologies to VW!

Lavazza1st Wed 27-Mar-19 20:06:54

No, he is being unreasonable. Why is he so clingy? Does he not have hobbies/friends?

Mollygo Sun 31-Mar-19 11:11:13

Glad things are settled. It’s not funny I know, but when my DH worked from home he used to shut himself in the bathroom because even the children knew you didn’t interrupt in there! Luckily we had a downstairs cloakroom too.