Setting up a home office for one person is a task in itself. So, how about setting up a shared home office for two – a friend, twin, sibling roommate, or spouse? It’s a new addition to most homes as a majority of people have shifted over to working from home or freelancing.
A home office for two is the optimal working situation for most homes – of course, the way you configure them depends on the shared home office ideas. Those ideas originated out of a need to find something more comfortable, other than the dining table and couch. A shared home office is more ergonomic, provides comfort, and increases productivity. A properly designed one permits multiple people with changing needs to work at the same two-person home office comfortably.
Benefits and Challenges of a Shared Home Office
You might be rethinking renovating a shared home office space. Unless your home office is primarily for business or work at a client location, it is sensible to have a smaller office. Either way, certain downsides and plus points will make you reconsider a small room desk setup.
|Saving money on start-up costs/no buying or renting of business premises||Initial expenses in setting up business at home|
|Saving time searching for business premises||Limited area size and space to work with|
|Freedom from long term tenancy agreements||Expenses incurred when maintaining the surrounding area|
|Flexibility for balancing out work & family commitments||Tough to separate home and work-life|
|No time or money invested in commuting||Isolation/loneliness|
|Fewer distractions||domestic distractions and interruptions|
Setting Up Shared Home Office the Easy Way
Even if you have limited space to work with, you can capitalize on flexibility. Then you can begin configuring a long-term solution. First, let’s get started with the desk - a critical part of a nice office setup that keeps you productive.
We’d never recommend a normal desk for home use – it's big, chunky, and not ergonomic. The better and healthier option would be a home office standing desk. Today, it’s pretty easy to do a lot of research on these desks – you get several sizes, styles, and fits that you can choose from. If it’s the budget you’re worried about, then know that the market has several premia, budget options, and a few in between. An adjustable standing desk comes as an electric one or a manual crank one. Certain desks have bigger surfaces for a triple monitor setup or anything else you may need.
When you need to change during the day, you can alternate between standing at your L-shaped standing desk and sitting mode. For comfort, while seated, you need the right chair with armrests. The back panel should be curved to give your back more support, especially in the curved, lower portion. An ergonomic chair will also have points of adjustability on them located under the seat, the back panel, armrests, and base.
We all have our quirks when it comes to working. Some don’t like people walking behind them as they work, others prefer open spaces for inspiration, others prefer taking lots of breaks. Think about your own quirks when setting up your room. If you plan on taking lots of breaks, then ensure that there is a lot of empty space around your desk setup. If you need open spaces, position the desk so you can see the rest of the room. And if you’re easily distracted, they have the desk facing the wall, near a window.
Sharing a room
If you plan to implement a shared home office, try to find a room that you dedicate for that purpose. Choose a place that inspires you and won’t turn into a sterile office area. Incorporate some sitting places in it, other than the desk chair. Add items like a verandah seat, bean bag chair or a couch, or any other kind of creative sitting spot. This is where you can go when you’re on a break, find inspiration and relax.
Challenges in Sharing a Room
Some challenges of the shared home office do exist, but you shouldn’t get overwhelmed. The key issues you may face when creating a suitable home office design is:
- Space and professional tools or requirements that each person needs.
- The home office preferences each person requires in terms of working habits, sitting arrangements, etc.,
- You are keeping enough space for all of your office furniture, no matter how space-efficient or compact it may be.
- You are ensuring that all pieces added to the workspace don’t overwhelm the leisure or living space.
Originally, the main concern is keeping more than one desk at home, assuming that both people will require this. However, you can consider adding a special duo-desk or a double-standing desk for your requirements as well.
Your other concerns are that both of you might distract each other; you might be working on different schedules that aren’t compatible or disruptive. Ongoing, frequent calls taking place at the same time will create a disturbance as well.
Consideration Factors When Sharing a Home Office
Before you begin a shared home office and during the process of the same, what do you need to consider? These factors should be kept in mind when planning out your space.
- Maintaining a sense of privacy that each person can enjoy.
- Easy access to the shared, non-working areas for taking a break.
- Comfortable closeness to fans, heaters, and ACs depending on the weather and your preferences.
- How dark or bright should it be? Who prefers the natural light, and how much of it will be too blinding?
- The appropriate amount of wall space required? Would both of you prefer to be situated in the corners or facing an open room?
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