A good housemate is worth their weight in gold. They're hard to come by and can make life a joy or a struggle. Whether you're a homeowner or a housemate if you want to have a good roommate, then be a good roommate. Here are our tips and with COVID-19 still a global issue, you'll find that they're especially important to follow right now!
Safety first, especially during the pandemic. Remember to follow social distancing rules, wear a mask outside the home and keep shared spaces sanitized (which is especially important if you workout). Many of the tips to keep you and your housemates safe are important to follow year-round, whether we're in the middle of a pandemic or not, including:
Cough and sneeze into your elbow
Isolate yourself if you're sick (even if it's just a regular cold or flu)
Maintain good personal hygiene which includes cleaning shared and personal living areas regularly.
Follow Society's Rules for Social Etiquette
While it is true that social etiquette rules are vast and differ by personality, age, culture and perhaps even gender, a good rule of thumb is to follow the golden rule (treat others how you would like to be treated). This includes, as the New York Times points out, being considerate. Replace the roll of toilet paper if you're the last person to use it and ask your housemate if they want a drink if you're getting one for yourself anyway. Thinking of learning a new instrument? Consider soundproofing your room first.
Social etiquette for housemates includes thinking about the other person you're with. For example, if you're cooking in a shared kitchen, be considerate of smells (like garlic) your housemate may find offensive. Talk to your housemate before inviting someone in your social circle over – they may need to have an early night.
Work Etiquette at Home
For some people working from home is the norm while for others home is a new work environment. Either way, if you have a housemate who works from home special considerations are essential. Talk to your housemates about the situation. What are the expectations during working hours (what are those working hours) and are special accommodations needed (for technology or quiet time)? If you're working from home be considerate of your housemate. Take calls in a private space, use headphones and if on a Zoom call use a background feature to ensure you maintain privacy.
For both householders and housemates, there are many benefits that come with home sharing. To truly enjoy those benefits it's important to be a good housemate, which ultimately boils down to being considerate of the others in your home. Contact the team at HomeShare Alliance for more homesharing tips and advice.