So, you and your partner or roommate are both working from home for the foreseeable future, huh? No need to stress! While it’s definitely an adjustment to work under the same roof—especially when that’s the same roof that you eat, sleep, and relax under—you can actually create some pretty great home office designs for the two of you. But where to begin when thinking of shared home office design ideas?
Start With Function + Style
When creating a home office for two, it’s important to remember that a home office is primarily about function. So, make sure the space works for both of you and serves the needs of each person.
But it’s also worth considering style—though it’s likely that you and your new “coworker” have different design styles. While you don’t have to make your workspace into a single style or have matching desks, it helps to have a cohesive, grounding style throughout the space so that your home office doesn’t start to feel like a flea market.
Find desks that suit each of your styles and needs—but consider investing in desks with the same finish, which will lend to a sense of cohesiveness in your space. The same goes for chairs; opt for chair that have elements that echo each other, whether that’s in the shape, style, or material. And if you truly are co-workers—whether you own a business together or just work at the same company—and want space to collaborate, be sure to work that into the design of the space.
Once you have the big pieces of home office furniture in place, you can add your own personal flair to your workspace, which will make each workstation unique to the person who uses it.
Keep reading for some at-home office ideas, along with our best tips and tricks for designing a home office for two!
Make The Most of a Small Space
Just because you only have a small space to work with doesn’t mean you can’t make it a two-person home office. If you’re looking for small home office design ideas, start by placing the two desks on perpendicular walls, which is the best layout to get as much out of the space without making the room feel cluttered. And opt for desks and chairs with light, open bases. This results in less visual clutter and will make the space feel more open and airy. Get matching desks and chairs if possible—this will help a small space feel more streamlined.
And don’t be afraid to use dining chairs as office seating. You probably already have a matching set, and they’re the perfect height for an ergonomic work set-up. That way, you don’t have to buy a new office chair (which can be pricey!) that you won’t use later. (Though there are some great budget-friendly office chairs out there if you prefer a real desk chair!)
Easily distracted? Sit back-to-back with your partner, so you aren’t as tempted to distract them—or yourself—throughout the day. Doing this will also give the two of you a sense of your own workspaces. However, opting for swivel chairs let’s the two of you spin around and chat when you do need a break.
Bonus: This home office is a great example of optimizing storage within your space. Line a wall with bookcases for loads of storage for each of you that will be useful even after you go back to a real office! (We’re sure it’ll happen someday!)
Convert Your Dining Room Into a Home Office
If you don’t have a dedicated room to use as a home office, consider converting your dining room into a home office for two. With a long, rectangular table, you can sit at opposite ends of the table and each have your own workspace. This gives you a sense of separation while still being able to chat throughout the day. And even at a dining room table, don’t be afraid to hook up your monitor if needed or wheel in a file cabinet for easy access to documents. You can always tuck them away on the weekends if you want to transform your office back to a dining room and better separate yourself from work!
Shop This LookTransform Your Dining Room Into a Collaborative Workspace
Here’s another take on a dining-room-turned-shared-office—this one geared more toward collaboration. Round and oval dining room tables are great for collaboration, since you can just slide around the table to work more closely with each other—perfect if you and your partner co-run a business or for helping kids with homework. Oval tables, like the one pictured above, are the ideal shape for offering optimal surface space for the two of you, whether you’re working separately or collaborating. And a tulip base means you have plenty of legroom too!
One more tip for dining room home office designs? Add open shelving for office supplies and inspiring personal objects, which will make this space feel more intentional rather than still feeling like a dining room that you’re just temporarily using as an office.Shop This Look
Tuck Your Home Office Within Another Room
If you’re really short on space, simply tuck a two-person workspace into another room—whether it’s a home office in the living room, a guest bedroom, or even a large master bedroom. Rather than two desks, we recommend one long, narrow desk or even a console table. The one pictured above could certainly be for one person without feeling excessive—but setting up a workstation at each end of the table allows two people to work within the same compact space. Since there’s not a ton of surface area, this two-person desk works best if you work from a laptop versus a desktop computer.
This is also a great option when there’s just one adult working from home but you also have a kiddo who needs to work on school stuff in the same space!
Create Two Distinct Zones
If you have the space for it, we love the idea of home offices with two desks and creating two distinct work zones. Start by setting up your desks at opposite sides and ends of the room to give each of you as much of your own space as possible. (The desks pictured are two of the best home office desks for distinct but coordinating desks within one space.) Then, add some shelving to each zone for office supplies and personal objects.
In this space, we also added a daybed, which is a great place to come together to chat over coffee when you both need a break, or for you to individually take screen breaks throughout the day. (This also allows you to double this space as a guest bedroom.)
Build an In-Home Co-working Space
If you’re running a small business from home and have business partners or employees working from your home as well, create an in-home co-working space. By opting for a dining room table in your home office rather than multiple desks, you can fit more people into one space, while still allowing for everyone to have the workspace they need. However, this is definitely a set-up geared toward working off of laptops, as there’s no room for computer monitors here!
This is also a good option for families with older kids or adult children who are also doing school or work from home. The result is a designated office space where everyone can get in the zone!
Shop This LookCreate a One-Wall Workzone
If you like the idea of a symmetrical and streamlined design, opt for this type of side-by-sie workspace. This is a perfect arrangement for those whose office is within a larger shared space, as the whole two-person set-up only takes up one wall of the room. With a storage cabinet between the desks, you have plenty of space between your workstations, as well as plenty of surface space on which to work with these larger home office desks!
Love these home office interior design ideas, but need to focus on creating a homeschool set-up rather than a shared home office? This layout would also be a great set-up for kids who will be homeschooling in the fall. This double desk set-tup creates a dedicated school zone, where each child has their own space but they’re close enough to each other to ask questions or collaborate. Just switch out the artwork for something more whimsical!
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