In lockdown, shared spaces have become busy and contested. Eleanor Gordon-Smith suggests being vocal and coming up with material solutions

My housemate has been working from home since March and it now looks as though he will continue to do so for the rest of the year. We share a two-bedroom flat with one living area, which is where he has set up his work station. This wasn’t an issue at the beginning of the Covid crisis when we thought his working from home might last a few weeks, but now I’m facing six months of tiptoeing around the flat during the day, five days a week, so as not to disturb him. He hasn’t offered any alternative solutions and I sympathise that he also isn’t enjoying the situation, but I cannot live like this long term. I also resent that I’m now paying rent and bills for his work space, which he will likely be able to claim on his tax return. How do I address all of this sensitively? Should I move? (I work evenings in admin and am back at work part-time.)

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