Telecommuting is more popular than ever, and a relatively high percentage of employees are now working from home at least a few days a week. While this type of work arrangement can be very beneficial, you might run into some problems if you and a loved one are both going to need home offices. Creating two comfortable home offices might not be easy, but doable with a solid plan.
Shared or Separate?
Deciding if the offices are going to be shared or separate is a key first step in this process. For most families, this decision is going to come down to how much room is in the home as well as their overall budget. If you are on a very strict budget and have a smaller home, then you will most likely need to create a double-duty office. That being said, finishing an attic, garage, or basement is easier than most people realize. In addition to increasing your home’s living space, that type of remodeling project could also boost your home value.
In many cases, home designers purposefully add plumbing lines and electrical outlets to unfinished rooms just in case future owners would like to finish them. To remodel an unfinished attic or basement might simply need some insulation, drywall, and a few extra lights. Turning an unattached structure into an office is another option as well, but that type of upgrade is typically going to be much more expensive and complicated. Unless the unattached structure already has water and power, it may not be a practical solution.
Separating a Single Room
If you only have a single room to work with, consider ideas for separating the two workstations. Luckily, there are many products on the market that will allow you to create a border between the two areas where you and your loved one will be working. Curtains will probably be the most inexpensive option, but that fabric isn’t going to muffle noises. One of the best options for separating a room is placing a heavy-duty bookshelf down the center. All of the books and extra wood will muffle noises and give you a sense of privacy. Also consider "room dividers" which can be found in a multitude of shapes and sizes.
Making Sure You Both Have the Necessities
After you have decided where the offices are going to be, you will then need to ensure that you both have all of the necessities that you are going to require. In the vast majority of home offices, one or more important devices are going to be used, and those electronics should all be attached to robust surge protectors. Some of the other items that you will probably need to invest in include ergonomic keyboards, comfortable office chairs, webcams, and one or more desks.
Carving out enough space for two home offices probably won’t be a simple task, but a bit of creativity and resourcefulness will solve any problem.