Team Something Navy has been working remotely for two weeks now as we self-isolate and stay home to curb the spread of coronavirus.
That means we’re spending a lot more time than usual at our respective homes, and our daily lives of commuting to work and heading to any post-work plans are on hold. Having jobs that allow us to work from home is a privilege, and our new normal consists of spending 24 hours working, eating, sleeping, and watching our favorite shows in the same space. We decided to ask the team how staying home for the last two weeks has impacted their home life and roommate relationships–whether that roommate is their husband, boyfriend, sister, or friend–and what they’ve learned about their partners and themselves in the process.
What is the layout of your apartment, home, or wherever you’re quarantined?
Tara: We live in a two bedroom apartment. It’s pretty spacious which I am very grateful for especially during a time like this.
Nikki: We live in a one bedroom apartment.
Dana: We have a loft in SoHo with a kitchen, dining room, living room, office, and bedroom.
Meghan: Our apartment has a bedroom, living room, kitchen, and bathroom. Pretty cozy!
Anna: I am living with my sister right now. Our apartment has two bedrooms and two bathrooms.
Sydney: Normally I live in a studio apartment, but I drove out to my family home in Bridgehampton with one of my friends, Chloe and my dog.
Taylor: My apartment in New York is pretty small so I decided to leave the city and go back to my parents’ house in Long Island. Right now, I’m quarantined with my mom, my dad, and my brother.
Maggie: We live in a one bedroom apartment! After quarantining in our apartment, we decided to move to my family’s house on Long Island to be with my mom and set up a more permanent work from home situation.
How are you and your partner or roommate dividing the space if you are both working from home?
Tara: Despite it being a radically different working environment than we are used to, I think we’ve adjusted quite well. Unfortunately, we do not have a proper office or desk space in the apartment, so we have set up shop in our kitchen. Some days, I sit at the counter (which isn’t ideal for my posture) while he’s at the kitchen table. Or, if we are both at the kitchen table but at opposite ends, I like to put a physical divider so we can’t see each other – ideally it’s something pretty like a vase of flowers but yesterday I had to settle for a tower of boxes! Also, if one of us is on a call, we try to distance ourselves a bit more out of respect. For example, right now he’s taking a call while sitting on the couch and I’m at the kitchen table (headphones in!).
Nikki: It’s not easy and it definitely takes some time to adjust but I’ve been working from the bedroom and he has been using the living room. We join forces for a break or towards the end of the day when we need a change.
Dana: My husband typically works from home whenever he isn’t on the road, so he’s already a pro. I’d say the major difference is now I’m also in his “office” all the time. We only have one desk in our apartment, so one person gets the desk and the other does work from our dining room table. We’ve been trying to switch every day so we each have a new work environment.
Meghan: Yes…he used to work in the bedroom while I worked in the kitchen or living room area. Now we both work at the kitchen table so that it feels like we have real desks. We listen to the “brain food” playlist on Spotify which gets us into the zone. I now often forget he is in the room with me!
Anna: Yes!! Ugh it’s so hard and I’m still trying to figure it out. My sister’s boyfriend is here too and we are all working together. We have a tiny dining room table so I really can’t focus or be comfortable there. My job entails talking to people all day so I have really been in my room most of the time (my sister made a rule that all phone calls must be taken in the bedrooms). I feel like being in my room I end up getting more done then being with my sister all day. We would fight if I was out there all day!
Sydney: Yes, we are both working from home. We’ve actually developed somewhat of a schedule for each day which is nice. A workout or some sort of movement in the morning, and then breakfast. We work together in the kitchen at a big table, but if we need to be on any calls one of us will go upstairs. We work in similar fields so we’ve been bouncing ideas off of each other which has been fun.
Have you ever seen your husband, boyfriend, or partner in their work environment before? What have you learned about their work style?
Tara: I actually have seen him in this environment before because he often works and takes calls during off-hours while at home. I am always very impressed by his work demeanor, not to mention how self-motivated he is.
Dana: Since my husband works from home a lot, I’m very used to seeing him in action. However, this is the first time he’s really been exposed to my work and overheard my work conversations. The funniest thing is that I was on the phone with Anna the other day, and as I was hanging up I said “OK bye, talk to you later, love you” and Dave overheard it and his jaw literally hit the ground. He was very confused as to why I’d be telling a coworker I love them. I could not stop laughing!!! I guess SN isn’t your typical office.
Meghan: No I hadn’t really and I can say that his work ethic knows no bounds…sometimes I try to make small talk, but he is all business! He also drinks 2-3 cups of coffee per day which I didn’t realize he did.
Anna: I have not! I never really understood fully what my sister was doing before but now I have such a better idea of what her day looks like. She jokes that all I do is laugh all day… not my fault I love the people I work with and we crack jokes 🙂
Maggie: I’ve never seen my boyfriend on work calls before and it’s been fascinating to watch him turn on his professional demeanor!
What has been your favorite part of this experience?
Tara: We never have a reason to stay inside and do nothing. Call me crazy but I am grateful for that right now because I’m the type of person who feels guilty or anxious when I’m feeling ‘lazy’.
Dana: Dave and I are usually on very different schedules during the week and we don’t always have time to sit down together for dinner. Every night since we started quarantining, we’ve been setting our dining room table like we’re having a dinner party. We make our own cocktails, play music, light candles and have dinner together. I love it!!
Meghan: Talking about our future and planning for the arrival of our daughter. I’m due with our first baby in about three months–we are trying to make the most out of this situation by focusing on enjoying this time together just us two. In only a few months, life as we know it will never be the same!
Anna: Getting to spend more time with my dog! I always feel guilty that I am at work all day and that I only get to see him at night so that has been really nice. He is loving all of the attention he is getting. Another thing that has been great is just not having to put makeup on, my skin has definitely been getting a very necessary breather. And lastly, It’s nice having more time to cook!
Sydney: Making TikToks…JK ha. Chloe has been the best company and I feel like we have made really smart decisions together during this crazy time. It has been nice seeing how everyone has come together and checks in on each other daily as well.
Taylor: I like that I am out of the city and that I’m able to go on walks around my neighborhood when I need air. The perks of being home with my mom’s cooking are also a plus!
Maggie: I have a newfound appreciation for the art of staying in. I’m not a huge homebody but I’m slowly turning into one! And I love spending this much quality time with my boyfriend–he really is my favorite person!
Have you learned anything new about your partner?
Meghan: I sort of always knew this, but now have witnessed it firsthand–he is extremely committed and invested in his friendships. This past Saturday, he was on the phone all day catching up with 10-12 different friends, hourlong conversations with each. I am impressed by how he always goes out of his way to stay connected with those who matter. I, on the other hand, am much lazier and don’t like being on the phone. Maybe it’s because my day job is very social and requires constant communication, but it has inspired me to make more of an effort with my girlfriends who live so far away!
Have you and your roommate or partner had any disagreements?
Nikki: Of course we have. This has been a big change for us and the adjustment definitely takes time. I think the hardest part is that it’s really inevitable to feel like you are on top of each other so we are working together to find a way that it feels like we can both be productive in our daily work schedules while also taking into consideration our partners schedule.
Anna: My sister is obsessed with cleanliness so every fight has been about her being annoyed if something isn’t clean enough. It has been driving me a bit crazy, I am not messy she is just overly clean so If I leave a dish in the sink with soap and water to let it soak she will ask me like ten times if I am going to clean it.
How are you keeping yourself busy?
Tara: Honestly work hasn’t really slowed so that has kept me busy- of course, there are parts of our business that are naturally in more of a ‘pause’ mode, but it’s been an opportunity to catch up in other areas.
Meghan: LOTS of reading and FaceTiming friends and family. I believe a good book can the most transportive experience, only second to actual traveling!
Anna: TikTok and more TikTok
Sydney: Working from home, playing with my dog, hanging out with Chloe, trying to cook more, and watching Netflix and TikTok. I feel myself becoming TikTok famous.
Taylor: I’ve made a list of Oscar-nominated movies that I never got the chance to watch and have been trying to watch those in my spare time!
What do you miss about your usual life and routine?
Tara: I miss the collaborative, out loud nature of the Something Navy office. Our business runs off of that energy! Also, I miss being able to see my nieces who live only 5 blocks away :(.
Meghan: Just walking outside and feeling the energy of NYC. That’s what gets me going every morning and it’s tough to not have the streets of Manhattan there to kick off my day!
Sydney: I miss my SN team!!! Also, being able to get around so easily in NYC. Walking everywhere… you don’t realize how nice that is until you’re somewhere remote!
What has been the most difficult part of this experience?
Dana: Not being able to see our families. We’re taking the 14 day CDC guideline very seriously since we don’t know if we’ve been exposed to the virus, so even though we’d love to get out of NYC and be with our parents and siblings, we just can’t do that right now.
Meghan: Not being able to go outside! I have to be extra careful since I’m pregnant and more susceptible to contracting Covid-19. The lack of fresh air and the inability to walk around is very difficult. Also, I love routine and being in the office with the SN ladies — I’ll be looking forward to seeing their faces every day again once this is over.
Sydney: The anxiety I have felt. I wasn’t feeling great for a few days and it very well could have been from the anxiety I have been feeling since this all started. The uncertainty and the news coverage has been weighing on everyone. And of course, I miss my family and have been thinking about them constantly!
Taylor: Not having all of my things! I didn’t know how long I would be leaving for so I didn’t pack as strategically as I would have liked to.
What have you learned about yourself since you started to quarantine?
Nikki: It comes as no surprise to me that my patience is low but key at this time. I definitely need to instill more of that in myself.
Meghan: I actually do okay in quarantine life. I can keep myself very entertained by reading good books, cooking/baking, watching shows and FaceTiming my nieces and nephews every chance I get!
Sydney: I have more life skills than I thought! Ha. My family lives in Florida so Chloe and I have really figured out how to handle everything in this situation on our own. I also learned the importance of having a to-do list for myself… it’s so satisfying to be able to check things off and feel like your day has been productive.
Maggie: I’ve learned that I really rely on seeing people and connecting with others in person just to get through the day. I miss my family and friends and I’m so thankful for Facetime!
Cover Art via: @nymphana_