Home is the new office for many, and it’s not uncommon to share your remote space with an office mate. If you’re two, working from home, creating a productive space is necessary – especially if you’re working with limited square footage. The ultimate goal is to design a functional and productive space for both – this means feng shui, ample storage, and free of clutter. And whether you’re renting an apartment in Austin, TX, or living in New York, NY, upgrading your home office will make your time in it so much better.

To help you get started, we’ve reached out to the experts for their best advice. Here’s what they had to say about their best home office ideas for two.

First things first, give the layout some thought 

Whether you’re working with a small or large space, the layout is crucial. “Spatial layout is key. There will be items in your home office that both parties will use – like the printer. Make sure to place these in neutral territory so that you don’t distract one another while going about your business – no one likes an unexpected Zoom photobomb.” – Sycamore Home

If you and your office mate require separate spaces to be productive, create a layout that reflects that. Get two desks, separate storage spaces, and individual task lighting. Divide the room as best as you can – add a bookshelf in between, use separate walls for your setups, and agree to a set of work boundaries. 

Design ideas to inspire productivity

The most important aspect of a home office is the ability to be productive. Your office needs to embody what makes you feel good. Maybe it’s a plant or two for calming vibes, or it’s music because you can’t stand the silence. Here are some design tips to increase productivity for two. 

Color schemes for productivity 

“For optimal productivity, consider painting your office for two in a shade of teal. Famous color psychologist Angela Wright concluded that teal inspires the taskmaster in all of us. As tastes can often vary when sharing a space, consider painting one of the walls a complementary accent color, such as an earthy terracotta or something more subtle like cream. In short, if you’re looking to create a space that encourages focus while maintaining a pleasing aesthetic, position the desks on the opposite, gorgeous teal-painted walls and watch your output soar.” – Becca’s Home

Incorporate ambiance to boost your energy

“Make your home office space extra cozy by placing a candle on your work desk so you can light it to enhance the aroma in the home office. My suggested scent would be the Yuzu Black Tea candle which has a delightful combination of black tea and an energizing burst of Japanese yuzu citrus. Truly a refreshing aroma that can give you a boost of energy.” – Taolia

“Your home office should be a space that’s calm and peaceful and promotes good mental health. Embrace double the productivity by creating the perfect home office for two. We like apophyllite crystals to relieve fatigue, agates for calm energy, and plant power to brighten up the day.” – Decor Works

Office furniture that works for you and your space

“Invest in desks and chairs that suit each of your styles and needs – but consider ones with the same finish or style to lend a sense of cohesiveness to your space. If you’re easily distracted, opt for a fixed chair instead of a swivel, and set your workspace to your office mate. This will enable you to sit back-to-back with your partner and avoid distraction.” – Office Designer 

Lighting can make a difference

“Light matters. Bright lights will make you more productive in your home office, and those bright lights during the day can also help you sleep better at night. Try to get as much natural light as you can. But if you can’t, some lights include a blue LED technology and are designed to boost your circadian rhythms. With so many people now working remotely, ask your employer if the company is willing to subsidize or fund a lighting upgrade for your home office. If you and your partner have different sleep schedules, try finding a product with dimming to adapt for different sleep schedules easily.” – BIOS Lighting

“Lighting is often overlooked in general, but something to consider when setting up an office space for two is that people have their lighting preferences. Be sure to include task lighting for each workstation, preferably dimmable so that individual needs can be accommodated.” – Molly Sweeney Interior Stylist 

Vertical storage will give you more room to move around 

“Make sure you have ample lighting, natural or artificial. Have well-defined working areas that inspire you, allowing for some personal touches. In a small space, remember to use the vertical space. The walls can be designed to hang many of the items you use.” – Organized MD 

Sit close with your office buddy

If you’re working with a small space it might be the best layout to put two desks on one wall. This will allow you to avoid the background of virtual meetings and give you more walking room. “It doesn’t matter how close to each other you are in proximity, you just need ample storage and plenty of floor space to move around. Don’t be afraid to sit close to one another to make that happen.” – Details and Design 

Find a balance with your home office mate

Since you’re sharing your home office, it’s best to discuss what you each need to be productive and happy in your space. “Have a talk with your office mate to find common needs and once that’s determined, take that information and use it for your furniture choices. In a small office space, make sure your furniture is functional and can serve more than one purpose. For example, can a bookshelf also serve as a workstation?” – Back to the South

“You know you’ll need a double desk setup and plenty of workspaces – that’s a given, right. My tip would be to start by identifying both of your must-have work aspects – is it lots of storage, a large white wall for schedules, or a comfortable seating area for meetings, etc., and then work backward from there.” – Victoria Moronta Design & Co

Key takeaways on home office ideas for two 

If you’re on a budget there’s no doubt this home office for two can be the perfect project to complete in a weekend. Use what you already have – spruce up your furniture with a coat of paint, decluttering and organizing make a significant difference, or try rearranging your layout. Don’t get stuck in the same room. There are plenty of ways to bring a new vibe to your home office and make your space efficient for two people. After all, you are there from 9 to 5.


Originally published by Redfin

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