Tips for Creating a Functional Office Layout for Two

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Making Space For Two

Businesswomen using laptop in office
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A  home or satellite office doesn't only have to be for one person. In fact, if configured correctly, any space -- regardless of size -- can easily accommodate two people.

Things To Consider

When setting up an office, especially in a new location, it's important to remember to locate all electrical outlets and telephone jacks. These can be critical to where desks and equipment are placed. It's always advisable to avoid using extension cords. Not only do they create a tripping hazard, but it becomes easy to overload them.

Window and door locations are two more considerations. Where the door is located will determine the flow of traffic into and out of the office. Placing a workstation in front of a window may be the ideal location for some, while others prefer to be away from a window. The amount of natural light that comes in through the window and how it would affect ​​computer screens should also be considered.

Additional considerations:

  • What equipment and furnishings will be shared?
  • What is the work flow of each person?
  • Are people right or left-handed (this does matter)?
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Face-to-Face Desk Layout

Desks facing each other
Face to face. Photo Credit: © Catherine Roseberry

In this office example, both desks are put together and filing cabinets are placed in corners out of the flow of traffic. The scanner table is located where both workers can access it when needed.

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Opposite Side Layout

Desks in top and bottom corners
Desks in top and bottom corners. Photo Credit: © Catherine Roseberry

If the door is not centered, this office example shows the desks placed on opposite walls (North and South) with the scanner table closest to the person that would use it the most.

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Defining Workspaces with Office Furniture

Left and right corner layout of desks
Left and right corner layout of desks. Photo Credit: © Catherine Roseberry

The desks are placed on opposite walls (East and West) and one filing cabinet is used to define a workspace. The scanner table is set up so that either person can access it. Beneath the scanner can be 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
T-shape desk layout. Photo Credit: © Catherine Roseberry

In this office example, the desks are placed to create a T formation. It does mean that one person must walk around one desk in order to get to the other. One advantage to this layout is it does leave room for an additional chair to be placed in the Southwest corner.

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Center of Attention

Centered desk layout
Centered desk layout. Photo Credit: © Catherine Roseberry

This office example also has both desks placed facing each other, but this time, a small divider is placed between the two desks to afford more privacy. Extra chairs can even be placed in the North and West corners of the room for visitors.

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