Because of our modern times, sharing a home office may become an absolute necessity. Your wife or husband may have already been working at home, and because of another family job loss, sharing the office now becomes a reality. Most people do not have two extra rooms to spare in their homes for offices, so sharing one room may be vital. How can you be in such close proximity for work, and still live together successfully? We’ll offer a few tips for co-habitation in the office environment.
A spouse may have been working in a home office but with the addition of another person, that room may not be large enough. Take a self-guided tour of your own home. Is there a basement or cellar (as long as it’s been finished) that’s big enough and suitable? Does it have electricity, Internet availability, a small half bath, a couple of windows or other light, a calm and quiet atmosphere, and is it cheerful enough? The new office space has to be large enough so that the two of you aren’t elbowing each other accidentally or yelling in each other’s ear if they’re on the phone.
An office desk for each person is a real need. To save space you can line up the desks abutting each other with enough room on the open side for an office chair each and a bit of storage. The two desk ends would be against a wall and form a T with it. On the wall — shelving will make some extra space, and a pair of two-drawer filing cabinets tucked into a closet work well, and will be kept from plain view. A small table can hold an all-in-one printer, scanner, fax — and this should be equidistant to both your spouse and yourself.
Go wireless, so neither of you will feel like you’re being strangled or have the sudden urge to hang laundry on the cords to dry, similar to that brilliant movie, Brazil. Leave enough room to get into the storage closet. An answer machine and base unit can be placed on the same table as the printer and each person can have their own cordless phone, on their own desks.
How will you get along, that is. Everyone has different personalities and blending two in one small home office may take some work. Consider a padded wall between the two desks so each person will be shielded, even if only a little, from the other’s noise. If this is not possible and makes the room cramped, then arranging the furniture so that you are not eating into each others space is the way to go. This may take several attempts. To avoid conflict, you could each work a slightly different shift or schedule. If your phones are portable ones than any lengthy or loud-volume ones can be taken into another room for conversations that would annoy your spouse.
Often simply because you can save money by both working at home, not to mention the quality of life aspect. A wireless printer, such as the one I mentioned above, and a home wireless network may absolutely be shared. Each person will need, and should have their own computer and phone handset Supplies can be shared and expenses are really reduced if you can do this. If you transfer files from your spouse to yourself via the computer you can do it by email or a USB flash key. Keep email addresses separate, even if you are working on the same activity. Some privacy must be maintained or else you could drive each other crazy!
Still Sane After All These Years?
Being married and getting along well and perhaps raising a family is a massive feat, when you think about it. Merely working together in a well laid out office is nothing compared to that. Working in the same home office, after some planning and forethought, can turn out to be a money saving, income-producing venture. Don’t forget to let loose occasionally and laugh together over a joke someone sent you via email. Laughter is the best way to keep your selves together when you live and work in a shared home office.