Can couples work together?


Image from the Complete Peanuts 1961 to 1962

For the past month, that young Dr B and myself have both been working from home. She's on research leave, which basically means she gets to spend most of 2012 pouring the brilliant ideas in her head onto paper and into academic journals. Clever bunny.

We've set up our matching trestles-and-Mac desks, slapped the hellmouth printer in between, and now we've got a nice little office/studio/thinkatorium. Now you would've thought that working side-by-side was a terrible idea, and we'd get bored of the sight of each other, but it's actually going rather well. We drink silly amounts of coffee, we take it in turns staring furrowed-brow at the bookshelf for inspiration, we get stuff done. Crucially, we both know when we're due a Judge Judy break, and every now and then we'll have an impromptu Goodbye Yellow Brick Road sing-along.

One highlight of this set-up is that we get to share the highs of the other's work (like Dr B having a eureka moment in the middle of the night and trying to type it up as quickly as possible before sleep got hold of her) and help each other out through the lows ("I'm sorry darling, I have no idea why Word is doing that … no don't throw it out the window … let me make you some toast …").  Plus, having someone working really hard in the corner of your eye is incredibly motivating – and between two people, that's self-perpetuating inspiration. In summary: working with Dr B is brilliant.

Do you work with – or alongside – your other half? How is it?