Some people have found working and living together a strain and are looking forward to getting out and about and mixing with other people again. But for other couples, the past year is the norm, and not only do they live together but their working lives are also in tandem.
Karen and Frank Daly have worked together for the past decade and have learned how to keep home and work life separate.
"We were both born in Mullaghbawn and have lived here our whole lives," says Karen (44). "We have been together for 22 years - he was friendly with my brother and always fancied me - and we have been married for 14.
"Over the years, we looked at a lot of business opportunities and although we were both working hard on our individual careers - Frank as a sales manager for an electrical firm and me as an operations manager for a recruitment firm - we had always wanted to do something ourselves.
"I think when you work hard for someone else, you get a sense of what you could achieve yourself, so when we saw an opportunity, we just went for it.
"Like any new business, the start was super exciting; however, after 10 years of working together, we have found that the key is trying to keep the excitement and passion when challenges appear, or you are still filing accounts at midnight.
"You have to remind yourself why you started the business and keep the faith - believe you will succeed, and you will find a way - like everything in life, there is always a solution."
The Dalys, who have two sons, Aaron (12) and Jamie (9), enjoyed working together so much that they decided to open another venture together - just before the whole world shut down. "Like everyone else, life changed for us when the pandemic hit," says Karen. "Our business, The Academy Masterplan, was well established so in December 2019, we decided to open a second business - 11:11 Bang on Trend - a fashion store in Camlough Retail Park, just outside Newry.
"It was initially due to open in May of last year; however, we were able to push this back to September 2020 with the help of an understanding landlord. We opened in a whirlwind as there was an air of positivity and people felt hopeful about going places, but then of course, we were closed again a few weeks later and now we have been closed more than we have been open. However, we are grateful to have both of our businesses and open online and have continued to grow our social media following."
But despite the issues facing their business, the mother-of-two says their day-to-day problems are no different to anyone else's.
"The biggest change for us as been the physical interaction with other people as most days it is just the four of us in the house, with home schooling now added to the mix," she says. "Like most people, we try our best to get it all done, but we have a relaxed approach and make sure everyone gets outside activity as well as FaceTime with friends - and thank the Lord for coffee and walks.
"Although Frank and I have spent most days working together since 2010 we definitely noticed a difference since lockdown as there wasn't the same interaction with other people - like nights out or even simple things like football matches with the kids to look forward to. We have really worked hard to make a difference between the weekend and weekdays as the two can roll into one. So we have been sticking to a routine during the week and then planning a fun walk or cycle, followed by hot chocolate and a movie night, which helps everyone.
"I also think it's important not to think too far forward or about all the why, when and what if questions, so we just focus on little tasks in the day. And cranking up the music can make all the difference in the world."
Aaron and Esther Ocampo also work together and have nothing but positive things to say about it.
The couple, who are based in Newry, started IPA Group, a digital marketing agency in 2015 after returning to Northern Ireland following several years of living in Mexico. They saw a gap in the market for a bilingual (English/Spanish) web development, social media management and digital marketing service and their business was created in the spare room of their house.
Since then the company has grown and other family members got involved including Aaron's mum, dad, sister and brother-in-law. And Esther says there are many benefits to working with people you trust.
"Keeping work chat out of family time is tough and getting time off at the same time is a challenge as the business effectively shuts down when you do," she says. "But on the positive side, working with your partner means you know what each other is thinking and what they need, sometimes before they even ask for it. You can also interpret their messages, emails and conversations easier than others can.
"We keep family and work life separate by making sure not to let work disagreements become personal and not to discuss work at mealtimes or while watching TV. My advice to others who are thinking of working with their partner would to be aware that there will be arguments but to have an open mind right from the beginning and make sure to have set roles.
"Also, set realistic limits in terms of separating work and personal life and don't take it personally when disagreements arise (and they will). Also, keep finances separate - don't mix personal and work money together."
Karen Daly agrees with this advice.
"We try to take time out to enjoy things together with a ban talking about anything to do with work, but when it has been part of our lives for over 10 years, sometimes this is impossible," she admits. "But when we find ourselves lapsing back to talking about work, we just laugh and try again."
She believes that on the whole, working with her husband is really positive as it has meant that they have a very close relationship, and each knows that they can trust their business partner completely.
"I always tell people that working with your partner means that you have someone in the business you can trust 110%," she says. "That person always has your back and it is great to have someone to truly share the highs with. Of course there are times when things get tough, but we have found that it is rare for us both to feel stressed at the same time, so we always have someone to pick us up.
"We have also found that it is really important to celebrate every little win because in business we invest huge emotion in both the challenges and the lows so feel that we should give even more to the highs. That is what makes it fun - because even the most successful businesses are rarely without challenges, so it is all about riding the wave. These days, we are rarely too bothered by a challenge and even when the pandemic hit at the worst time possible for our new business, we knew that there would be better days to come and if we find our way through this, we will be able to get through anything."
Of course, it isn't always plain sailing and they do have days when it all gets too much, but the seasoned businesswoman would still encourage others who are thinking of working with their partner, to trust their instinct.
"There are some downsides to working together and have been times, especially at the start when juggling 18+ working hour days with a young family, can feel like a lot to handle," she admits. "And the biggest challenge is switching off and trying to work a somewhat regular week, which no self-employed person ever does.
"You just have to say to yourself that sometimes things might have to wait until the following day, and that's okay.
"My advice to anyone who is thinking of going into business with their partner, would be to just go for it - what have you got to lose? But remember that it is so important to respect each other like you would other colleagues and try to have separate roles which you can individually concentrate on.
"Like everything in life, ignite your passion and wake up every day giving it your all - build your own dreams before someone hires you to build theirs. And as Nelson Mandela said, 'There is no passion to be found in playing small - in settling for a life that is less than what you are capable of living'."