How to (Finally) Create a Functional Shared Home Office

For many of us, the work-from-home life started as a temporary arrangement. Fast forward, and it’s clear that the WFH  set-up isn’t going anywhere! If you’ve been working from your couch or fighting your spouse or roommate for space at the kitchen table, it’s officially time to upgrade your home workspace. Optimize your WFH situation with these tips for creating a functional shared home office for two.

First, figure out the physical working environment that you each prefer.

For example, some people are most productive when they can look out a window or watch the dogs while they’re deep in thought. Some people prefer to be nestled against a wall with nothing to distract them. What do you prefer? What does your workspace partner prefer? Once you’ve talked that over,  you can start figuring out how to arrange your work from home coworking space, what types of desks to look for, and so on. 

If you have the space, dedicate a room or corner for work (and only work)!

One of the trickiest aspects of working from home is feeling like work and life blend together, and not in a good way. When your work supplies are scattered throughout the house, it can be hard to feel like you’re ever off the clock. If you don’t feel organized, it can be difficult to get into a productive and focused mindset. Creating a space in your home that is dedicated to working solves both problems!

If you have a spare room, you have the ideal place for creating a home office. If you don’t have an entire room to use, don’t worry! With a little creativity, you can still set up a small place dedicated to working from home. Maybe you have just enough space to put a desk and small cabinet against a living room wall. Maybe your only option is setting up shop on the kitchen table – that works too! The key, in that case, is creating some sort of organizational system so that when the workday is over, you can stow away your laptop, papers, notebooks, and whatever else you use in your day-to-day.

Use some sort of barrier or divider in your shared workspace.

You don’t need to have total privacy or completely box off your workspace but having some sort of divider between you and your partner or roommate can help you stay focused. If you’re working from a his and hers home office, a room divider can be an easy solution. Bookshelves can also be used to break a room into two separate workspaces, and they’re also functional for storing various work supplies. Even if you’re simply sharing the kitchen table, putting a tall potted plant or some desk lighting between you can limit distractions and create a feeling of separate workspaces.

Make sure you have plenty of storage.

When you leave an office every day, you can leave your workspace however you want. Out of sight, out of mind. At home, however, it’s important to have a place to put everything when you’re finished for the day. If you’re short on space, you can simply clear a bit of space in a dining room hutch or even a bedroom dresser. If you have space for office furniture, you will not regret adding another bookshelf, filing cabinet, or set of drawers to your home office. This will not only help you stay organized, but it’ll help you get things out of sight, out of mind even when you live at your office. 

Consider important factors like outlets, backgrounds, and lighting.


You’re situated at a cozy corner desk and your partner is excited to break in his standing desk in the opposite corner… until you realize that neither of you are near a power outlet. You log into an important Zoom meeting only to discover that your pants-less roommate has a starring role in the background. Don’t make these mistakes! 

Before you arrange your furniture, decorate your walls, and settle in, make sure that you’ve considered these logistics. Do you have easy access to an outlet? Do you have a Zoom-appropriate background? Is there adequate lighting on your desk to prevent eye strain? It can become a huge hassle to constantly rearrange, so set up your home office for maximum convenience.

Decorate your space!

You’ve got all your gadgets set up and your supplies organized, but now it’s time to make your home office your happy place. Don’t underestimate the power of some well-chosen décor! Surround yourself with anything that inspires you, whether it’s colorful art pieces, lush green houseplants, soft rugs, patterned tapestries, or bobbleheads à la Dwight from The Office. You’ll be spending a lot of time in your home office, and it’s important that it is a space that makes you feel content and peaceful. 

Establish some WFH etiquette ground rules.

When you’re working in close quarters with someone (whether it’s a friend, a roommate, or a spouse)  it’s important that you lay down some ground rules and create an atmosphere of mutual respect. These rules can be as simple as “Clean up your half of the kitchen table at the end of your workday” and “Don’t blare music while I’m on a work call.” 

If both of you are frequently on phone and Zoom calls, it can be helpful to hang a calendar or whiteboard on the wall where you can coordinate your schedules. For example, if you both have Zoom calls at 1:00, you can plan ahead and one of you can set up somewhere else. Posting a schedule can also allow you to schedule calls collaboratively so there aren’t any of these conflicts.   

Find the Home Office Furniture and Decor You Need with CORT 

Quit living in limbo and create the shared home office space that works for you and your partner. Find everything you need to furnish your home and home office at CORT. Create a furniture and decor package that suits your space — and your needs.  Choose from our selection of durable, quality furniture — including commercial-grade high-quality office furniture — online or head into your local CORT showroom to work alongside one of our experts. 


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