6 Tips for Creating a Functional Office Layout for Two

Sharing an office with another person requires planning

White office desk table with a lot of things on it

Arijit Mondal / Getty Images

A home or satellite office doesn't have to be limited to only one person. If configured correctly, any space — regardless of size — can accommodate two people. Learn how to create a functional home office space that works for two. Sharing an office space, which is becoming increasingly necessary as the number of telecommuters and freelancers in the workforce increases, requires planning and organization.

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Making Space for Two

Businesswomen using laptop in office
Hero Images

Some considerations remain the same for both one-person and two-person offices: the placement of electrical outlets is critical to desk placement, doorways affect traffic flow, and windows reduce computer monitor visibility. In most cases, each person needs a desk, chair, file cabinet, and — possibly — a visitor's chair. A shared all-in-one scanner/printer is standard office equipment.

Considerations unique to two-person offices include:

  • The equipment and furnishings that are shared
  • The workflow of each person
  • Whether the occupants are right-handed or left-handed (yes, this does matter)

Each of the example layouts in this article ​uses a one-door, one-window room, but the lessons from the layouts can be extended to fit any space.​

02
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Face-to-Face Desk Layout

Desks facing each other

Catherine Roseberry

In this office layout, the desks are positioned where workers face each other and filing cabinets are placed in the corners out of the flow of traffic. The scanner/printer table is located near the desks where both workers can access it when needed.

03
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Opposite Side Layout

Desks in top and bottom corners

Catherine Roseberry

If the door is not centered, the desks can be placed on opposite walls with the scanner/printer table closest to the person who uses it the most.

04
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Defining Workspaces With Office Furniture

Left and right corner layout of desks

Catherine Roseberry

In this layout, the desks are placed on opposite walls and one filing cabinet is used to define a workspace. The scanner/printer table is set up so that either person can access it. The area beneath the scanner can be used as additional storage space. The tops of the filing cabinets can also be used for books or other storage, provided they are kept tidy.

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T-Shape Desk Layout

T-shape desk layout

Catherine Roseberry

In this office example, the desks are placed to create a T formation. It requires one person to walk around a desk, but it leaves room for an additional chair to be placed in the corner.

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Center of Attention

Centered desk layout

Catherine Roseberry

This office layout places both desks facing each other, but a small divider is placed between the two desks to provide additional privacy. Extra chairs can be positioned in corners of the room for visitors.