Make shared home office space stressless with these tips
Sharing office space in your apartment is perhaps even worse than sharing a bedroom as a kid. You don’t want to trudge through your officemate’s mire of week-old coffee and piles of files just to find the stash of paperclips. Learning to organize a shared home office is key to efficiency and happiness.
Establish Boundaries In the beginning, it seems harmless enough: a missing stapler here, a borrowed flash drive there. In the end, you might get into a brawl with an officemate if you don’t establish firm boundaries. What items are shared? Is there a designated place where such items should be returned? What items are personal and should never be touched?
Noise Level Set guidelines about noise levels early in your working relationship when possible. Consider purchasing headsets, which often have more sensitive mouth and ear pieces that traditional desk phones. Minimize the use of speakerphones. While you might find Godsmack’s latest hit to be motivating and inspiring, your roommate might not share the same feelings. Headphones decrease the likelihood of music meltdowns.
Confidentiality If either party will deal with confidential documents, it is a good idea to invest in some form of partition for privacy. File cabinets with locks are also a good investment. Reassure your roommate that these measures aren’t a sign of distrust; you are simply being professional.
Space Savers When organizing an office for two, space maximization in key. Opt for furniture with vertical storage elements including overhead shelves. Bins and trays that can be tucked beneath surfaces will also come in handy.
When buying office equipment, multi-use gadgets will definitely help save space. It is common to have a 3-in-1 unit with a printer, fax, and scanner. For artists, drawing tables that are also backlit reduce the need for a tracing board. Seek equipment that will accomplish the most using the least amount of space.
Virtual Workspace There is a steady stream of new products that allow you to work virtually, minimizing the need for paper clutter. GoogleDocs and Cloud Computing are two ways of storing, editing, and transferring documents virtually.
What tips have you found helpful for sharing office space? Let fellow renters know by commenting below.