My wife, Shannon, and I have worked from home together for five years now. Since 2017.
As two people working from home at the same time, we’ve been through just about all of the scenarios. And we have plenty of home office products that are now firmly in our past: foldable desks that didn’t work out, video meeting backdrops that failed, room dividers we no longer need, and lots and lots of dead plants. Today, I’m sharing how we make it work in our two-person home office. Hopefully, by reading this article, you can skip ahead in your home office journey by learning from what we’ve tried in the past.
This article is broken into three parts. Use these links below to jump to a section that is most relevant to you:
- Desk Options
- Two-person desks
- Folding desks
- Standing desk
- L-Shaped desk
- Home Office Products
- Anyvoo video meeting backdrop
- Acoustic sound panels
- Room dividers
- Noise-cancelling headphones
- Essential oil diffusors
- Office Layouts
- Face each other
- Face away from each other
- Side-by-side with a room divider
- L-shaped layouts
- Shared desks based on function
- One shared desk
Two-Person Desks For Your Home Office
If you’re looking for advice on the best desks for two-person home offices, this is your section. I will recommend only the best desk based on each type. I personally have had three desks and my wife has had one she loves. We’ll recommend our personal favorites where applicable, but we also asked 50+ people who work from home to share their desk of choice. You’ll see the most frequently recommended from that group, as well.
Best two-person desk options:
Inexpensive: DlandHome Double Computer Desk, $113
- Price: $113
- Reviews: 1,000+
- Star rating: 4.4/5
Review sentiment: Two-person desks in this price range is rare, and this is the best option. The materials are sturdy and the desk looks nice put together. The assembly is more complicated than people would like it to be. On the whole, it’s a great value – spacious, stylish, clean – once you put it together.
Medium price: TribeSigns Double Workstation, $259
- Price: $259
- Reviews: 600+
- Star rating: 4.6/5
Review sentiment: This is a beautiful, clean, study desk for a good price. The assembly may require two people and could take a few hours. Once assembled, you’ll be happy with the desk. There is another Tribesigns double desk in this range (a dark brown one for $189).
High-end: Smart Desk Core Duo, $999
- Price: $999
- Reviews: 6 (on Automonous site, not Amazon)
- Star rating: 5/5
Review sentiment: This is a durable, well-functioning, programmable well-designed sit-stand desk for two. The assembly takes awhile (like all of the others mentioned here), but the desk will last a long time and look nice in your home office.
Your best folding desk: Oragami Folding Computer Desk, $169
- Price: $169
- Reviews: 2,800+
- Star rating: 4.5/5
We are on our third folding desk option. Don’t worry, I will absolutely not recommend the two that didn’t work. This is the one my wife has and it’s fantastic. It’s going on year four and is in the same condition as day one.
- It’s sturdy (a previous one I had was lighter but started wobbling and breaking down after just a hear)
- It’s really easy to set up and take down
- It folds up really flat, so you can put it in the back of a closet or somewhere out of sight easily
Best standing desk option: Jarvis Standing Desk, $750
- Price: $750
- Reviews: 60+ (and many more if you add in other listings for the same desk)
- Star rating: 4.8/5
I have had this standing desk for almost four years. It’s still in the same shape it was when I bought it.
- This is the highest-rated standing desk on the market: that’s why I chose it and it hasn’t disappointed
- It is incredibly sturdy and reliable: You could find cheaper options, but I’m sure they’ll wobble or start to break down
- I have an older version than the one I linked to above: this newer one has preset height options so you can get to your preferences easily
Best L-shaped desk option: Casaottima L Shaped Gaming Desk, $119
- Price: $119
- Reviews: 12,000+
- Star rating: 4.6/5
I’ve never personally owned an L-shaped desk, so I relied on my list of expert contributors for this one. When I asked my list about their home office desks of choice, 65 people responded. Of the people who have an L-shaped desk, this was the one recommended the most. When I cross-referenced it with Amazon reviews, it’s also the highest rated with thousands of review.
Helpful Home Office Products
There are a ton of great products (physical and digital) that can add a lot to your two-person home office. My wife and I are, sort of, minimalists so we like open space.
Here is an overview of the equipment you’ll find in our home office:
What I Have
Fully Jarvis Standing Desk
Dell S2421H 24 Inch
Apple Magic Keyboard
Apple Magic Mouse
Logitech 4K Pro
Video Conference Backdrop
Here are some descriptions of products we use to manage our two-person setup:
Anyvoo: Video Meeting Backdrops
We invested in a two-sided Anyvoo. My wife has her company, Solo Content, on one side and I have mine, Buildremote, on the other. I hang the Anyvoo on the Buildremote side for my meetings and she switches to Solo Content side for her meetings. I highly recommend Anyvoo for anyone who needs to look professional on video calls.
You can build your own Anyvoo here.
We have little kids. At our house, at least one person is usually in a meeting, one is crying, and one is sleeping. That’s pretty standard. We have some sound panels we hang on our wall (in the office and kids’ bedrooms) to help mute the noise within that room. It also helps any echo on video calls.
Room Dividers We don’t use these anymore now that we have our dedicated home office. We did use them when we worked in our bedroom. They are pretty nice, and help break up a room well.
Noise-cancelling Headphones (AirPods or Bose)
We each have a pair of Bose noise-cancelling headphones. And my wife got me AirPod Pros as a gift. They are great for airplanes in particular, but also very helpful if you’re trying to work when the other person is gabbing away in a meeting right next to you.
Maybe your officemate stinks? Maybe you stink? Either way, we have one of these are they are great for the aroma and mood of a home office.
We love plants. We had to banish them from our house for a few years as our first born started crawling and walking. Now that we have our dedicated office (where we can close the door), we’re back in the plant business! They seriously help the home office atmosphere. (You know where you can buy plants.)
- Krisp (an actual free tool, not a free trial): This video meeting plugin mutes your background noise and noise coming from your guests.
- Google Calendar or WeekCal: These shared calendars allow you to view your own calendar and your office mate’s calendar in one place (so you don’t overlap meetings).
- Focusmate: This tool gives you a real parter over the internet to help you stop procrastinating.
- Traveling Mailbox: If you travel frequently or don’t want to give out your home address, Traveling Mailbox receives your mail and scans it into digital format for you to receive anywhere.
- Holopod: This Slack plugin automatically updates your status and blocks notifications so you can limit digital distractions.
Two-Person Home Office Layouts
If you’re sharing a home office with your spouse, partner, or roommate, make a decision together about the office layout. You may also want to see some real home office layouts to choose from through Maker Stations.
Here are your options to choose from (paired with benefits and drawbacks of each).
Face each other
See Also: 105 Tips For Working Remotely
Face away from each other
**There are two solutions to the issue of showing up in each other’s video meetings:
Side-by-side (This is our current layout!)
Side-by-side with a room divider
L-shaped desks or layout
Shared desks based on function
If you are minimalists (with little personal equipment and loose papers), you could share both desks. For example…
- One could be used for video meetings (you’d have good lighting, a nice background, a laptop stand to get the right height for video calls) and the other for working
- One could be a standing desk and the other for sitting
- One could have a Yoga ball or kneeling chair and the other a desk chair
The possibilities are endless! No, that’s not true. That’s pretty much all I can come up with.
One shared desk
Finally, you could have just one desk that you share. This might work in these scenarios:
- You and your office mate don’t ever work at the same time (like my wife and me)
- One of you has a membership to a co-working spot that you could share
- You each like going to coffee shops or libraries frequently enough that one desk works
- You have other places in the house to work and like mixing it up
- One of you has so many meetings that it’s impossible for the other person to work in the office
Additional resources for the two-person home office
I hope you (and your spouse or roommate) found this guide useful. My wife and I have worked together from home since 2017. Tt takes awhile to find a rhythm.
- Sharing A Home Office: Helpful products, advice based on your location (guest bed, dedicated office, bedroom, etc), and etiquette or rules for success
- Working From Home With Kids: Nine tools we use – equipment and software – to manage the odd life of professional meetings happening on one side of the door and tantrums on the other
- Best Home Office Desks: I recommended a handful of specific desks in the article above. This article allows you to filter a list of 50+ desks to find the right fit.
- Best Home Office Chairs: Filter 40+ office chairs by your preferences to find a match.