Live-in couples around the globe have been faced with the ultimate challenge since lockdown began: a year working at home.
This shift to homeworking for many people isn’t temporary. Most organisations will eventually adopt a hybrid model of working, where staff switch between the office and their home offices. What does this mean if you have only one small home office?
Kahlil Gibran, a poet, famously advised lovers that they should “stand together but not too close together”. This was clearly not a message he intended for pandemic-era couple. Pandemic-era couples shouldn’t be living together in one-bedroom apartments. Many couples don’t have the space or money to put up a large dual desk in their home office. The majority of people will have to live with a small corner of the table or a desk placed beside a bed.
Some couples have had to live in close quarters due to the pressures and stresses of lockdown. A study done by Kinsey Institute on the effects of COVID-19 upon marriage quality found that 54% of respondents agree that lockdown has affected their relationship.
You might want to change your setup if you find it difficult to share a workspace with your partner. We are here to help you create a home office that works for you and your partner. These are our top tips.
Accept guidelines together
There are many tensions that can occur when you share a workspace with your partner or co-workers. It’s important to communicate clearly and openly with others, as we all have different needs.
Discuss your expectations together. Although you don’t need to create a formal policy for your workplace (unless you prefer), it can be helpful to form guidelines with others in order to keep your peace during times of stress.
These are some great points to talk about:
- Are you going to each have your own workspace or will you be sharing equipment?
- Do you have a cleaning schedule?
- What happens to equipment used in work at the end?
- Are you willing to go to another area to make calls?
- What time will you take breaks? Do you plan to take them all together?
- Is it okay to listen to music?
- What is your opinion on the room temperature?
- How can you maintain a balance between your personal and professional lives?
Select the best dual home office products
You will need to find the right products if you want to create a home office for 2 in a small space. This will help you avoid bad postures and any aches and pains. We are here to help. We have gathered some essential home office items that are perfect for shared spaces.
Compact, lightweight desks
The Portable Height Adjustable Desk is a great choice if you are a laptop user and want to increase your activity. The adjustable sit-stand platform can adjust to fit your work style by tilting, raising, and lowering it. The portability of this platform makes it ideal for couples working in cramped spaces.
The Basic Homeworker Desk is a fixed-height option. It can be assembled quickly using a slot-together design.
Homeworking ergonomic seat with adjustments
The Homeworker mesh back ergonomic office chair has high marks for its affordability and ease of use. The mesh back is slimmer and lighter, so it won’t crowd your small office or work space as a couple.
Get noise-cancelling headphones
The office headsets make it easier to manage calls efficiently and ergonomically. They free up your hands to use your phone more often, which can lead you to lose your voice. While there are many benefits to wireless or wired headset, the main attraction for couples working together is their privacy. For maximum comfort and excellent call quality, you can try the Jabra Evolution 30 II Headset.
Plan your two-person home office layout
Before you begin building or moving furniture around, it is a good idea to plan out your home office layout for two people. These are some great tips:
- Take measurements of your space and create a floorplan.
- Draw the outline of the furniture that you would like to place on a separate piece or card. Then cut out the pieces so you can arrange them in different places on your floorplan.
- Where are the light sources?
- No matter what, you can face each other.
- Routes to exit/entrance
- Access to plugs
Aesthetics are also important. Although you may have different equipment depending on your anatomy and preferences, can you pick similar colours and finishes? You can improve your productivity by creating an environment that is both attractive and enjoyable to work in.