Inspiring Ideas for Creating an Office Workspace for Two
Today’s workforce is changing. Working from home has become more commonplace and as a result, having a home office has become a major necessity in many homes. Creating an office space in your house is simple if you live alone but what if you live with someone who also needs space to work? A shared office space is a fantastic way to fight the isolation that often goes along with working from home but you also need breathing room. Design a functional and attractive dual desk home office that fits your space and personalities. Use these ideas to create a shared home office that maximizes personal space and also promotes a comfortable level of interaction.
Arranging a Dual Desk Home Office
Use two separate desks to create a defined workspace for each person or furnish the room with one practical extra-long desk. How you arrange the shared office space may depend largely on the personalities of you and your office mate.
If you like to collaborate and aren’t easily distracted, try a face-to-face setup. Push two leggy Parsons desks together in the middle of the room to create an island with loads of workspace and room underneath for storage.
Understandably, you may not want to be your officemate’s focal point all day. In this case, opt for built-in twin workspaces or matching desks situated along a wall. This configuration gives you close proximity for the occasional chat but allows you to focus on your own spaces.
Super-close quarters aren’t for everyone. If you find it impossible to keep your eyes on your own screen or feel antsy when you hear your office mate rustling about, placing your desks on opposite sides of the room is safest. Are you working with a tight space but still want some level of privacy? Use a face-to-face arrangement with a simple partition between the two desks.
Adding Your Personal Touches
Bringing in your own décor and personal items can help you feel more comfortable at your respective workstations, but some coordination will make the space feel cohesive and intentional. Be sure to strike the right balance through compromise. Pick your own artwork to hang over your desks, but use matching frames to pull the looks together. Select task lighting, floor lamps and overhead lighting that suit both of your preferences; shop within the same product line to keep it coordinated.
It’s possible to balance personal comfort and visual appeal when choosing furniture – even if you have conflicting tastes. For example, pair a standing desk with a traditional desk of the same color. If you have mismatched vintage desks, add a sleek, modern set of matching chairs. Not everything in your space has to match, but a little bit of extra thought makes your office décor seem intentional and interconnected.
Storing Items in a Shared Office Space
While it’s fine for some of your things to mingle on shared shelving, certain work files and folders require separate storage. If one or both of you bring your work home, or if you use your office space to store bills and documents, then you’re better off designating some spaces for independent storage.
Tuck a filing cabinet below or beside each workstation for easy access, and use two different file folder colors to ensure that your “Urgent” file is never mistaken for your officemate’s “Urgent” file. You should also have easy access to supplies without disturbing one another. Rather than fighting over one or two desk drawers, mount wall cabinets or hutches above each desk for convenient and modern overhead storage. Base cabinets with drawers also make great supports for a built-in desktop.
Using Gadgets Galore
One of the biggest decisions to make in a shared home office is whether to share your tech tools. You may want to share your printer, scanner, phone or fax machine but if both of you need to use the printer constantly or take a lot of calls each day, then separate machines makes sense. If either one of you plans to use the equipment less frequently, it is important to note that you can save a considerable amount of space by sharing those larger peripherals. Simply place them between your workstations for easy access.
Smaller gadgets are a different story. Each of you should have your own personal electronics. Separate use of devices like headphones, phone chargers, thumb drives and more will help keep your working environment comfortable. A great trick is to purchase them in different colors; this helps prevent mix-ups. Be sure that each workstation also has access to electrical outlets. No one should have to struggle with awkward cord placements or climb over anyone to charge his or her phone. For peace of mind, have an electrician install extra outlets if necessary.
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