Video:How to Create a Shared Home Officewith Erin Hoffman
Creating a shared home office that's a productive space for two people is possible, but you need to consider a few items. Watch this About.com video to see tips for laying out the office.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Create a Shared Home Office
Hi, I'm Erin Hoffman, Productivity Specialist and President of Optimum Productivity. I'm here for About.com to give you some tips on how to create a shared home office.
Things to Consider When Making a Shared Home Office
The best place to start when creating a shared home office is with a conversation about what each of you needs from the office. Will you be working together collaboratively, or separately? Will both people be in the office all day, or just part of the day? Does one or both of you need the office to remain quiet? Will you be making or receiving phone calls? What are your style tastes? Answering these questions in advance will help you plan your space.
Layout of a Shared Home Office
Next you'll want to consider the desk layout of your office. There's a few different options to choose from. Desks that face each other create a very collaborative working environment. Use this option if you need to frequently talk with the person that you are working with. If one or both people need to avoid distraction, this layout might not be the best option.
More Popular Layouts for a Home Office
Another popular layout for a shared office is the L-shape desk. This is great because you're looking away to avoid distraction, but still close enough that you can collaborate. This option is also a great use of space and resources because you both have easy access to items like files and printers. One con of this option is that you're still seated close to one another. You may want to avoid this option if you need a lot of space around your chair or frequently talk on the phone.
Another Popular Layout for a Home Office
The final desk layout option is separate desks. This is a great option if you have a large space or need extra room. One drawback of this layout, however, is it makes it harder to share some of the items. Consider which equipment, items and storage can be shared, and which ones you need to use exclusively. For example, you may decide that you each need your own computer, phone and drawer, but can share a file cabinet, printer, and shredder. Now that you've determined the general layout, it's time to look for lighting.
Style of the Office
Do both spaces have adequate light to work? If not, you may want to add some additional lighting. The last thing you need to decide on is how the office will look. Make sure that you take into account both people's style preference and tastes. Also, agree on how the office will be kept. If one person is neat, and the other is messy, it could quickly add stress to the working situation. Set up some organizational guidelines in the beginning to ensure success.
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