How to Create a Common Home Office for Three People?

If setting up a home office for one person was not enough, imagine setting it up for three people!

Figuring out optimal working arrangements for each person can take a toll because not everyone would like to sit or use resources in a particular manner.

Here is how you can ease the tension of creating a shared office space for three.

To create a shared home office for three people, decide whether it is better to share a common space. Next, find a perfect place with enough room space for three people, then assess your needs to decide whether to buy individual amenities or share resources.

Whether you are freelancers, solopreneurs, or startups, setting up a shared home office can become a fun and productive activity.

Here is how you can create and arrange your shared home office for three people!

Should you Share your Home Office?

Decide whether it is a good idea to share a common workplace.

Not everyone may share the same passion for working in a shared office, mainly in a different industry.

The second and most critical step is to decide on the workplace and resources.

A common workplace is a single place, so you must determine the space, resources, and expenses shared among the three.

If you are unsure what a common workplace could bring, here are a few pros and cons to help you decide.

PROS

  • Sharing a common workplace saves costs on rents, utility bills, Wi-Fi, and office supplies.
  • Taking comments and feedback from someone else may help to raise your productivity.
  • Working in a team feels much more energetic and fun than working alone.
  • A shared space gives the office vibe. Sharing foods, snacks, and rations during a lunch break is a good idea for team building.
  • You would learn to co-exist and stay mutual with each other.
  • You will have three workplaces into one that makes it a dynamic workplace.

CONS

  • You may have to compromise on your professional needs and personal space.
  • A common workplace may feel congested for people who enjoy working in their personal space.
  • You would have to budget everything, including meals, Wi-Fi connection, and office supplies.
  • It is easy to break each-others rules about using someone else’s stuff.
  • You need to consider each person’s preferences whenever you want to get a common resource.
  • It is relatively easy to get distracted by speaking, chewing, writing, tapping on the keyboard, etc.

However, we are sure you have contemplated all these facts before starting a common workplace.

A shared workplace is not a new concept anymore.

The lockdown following the COVID-19 saw a rise in numbers of people working from home sharing space with their spouse, partner, or friends.

Almost 71% of people worked from home during the lockdown (2019-2020), where most of them shared the space with others.

Hence, sharing a common workplace without hindering the productivity of each member is entirely possible.

Setting Up Home Office for Three People

If you think about it, sharing a common workplace is not much different than sharing an office room with your colleagues.

However, the advantage of creating your workspace is that you can decide from the layout, colors, lighting, and setting up rules that are not possible with an office room.

Here is what Shawna Underwood, an interior designer, has to say about sharing a common workplace.

Split the room in proportionate sizes to create zones so that each person can personalize their workspace.

It may mean separating desks, storage, and task lighting. However, you can dedicate a single zone as a shared space to store everyday items.

So, let us discuss how you can perfectly set up a home office for three people.

Common Workspace
Common Workspace (Source: Pexels)

1. Find a Perfect Location

Start with finding the perfect location that will serve as a shared workspace for years to come.

While working from a bedroom may sound like a good idea for one or two people, it may not be favorable for three people.

For a compact space, a home office with 60 x 120 square feet would be a minimum requirement for three-person working.

A person would require at least 30 to 40 square feet to install a small desk and chair for sitting and mobility.

Related Article: What is the Average Size for a Home Office?

A home office space should be big enough to accommodate all three members comfortably. Hence, here are a few options for you.

a. Home Office in the Hall

The Hall is usually big enough to fit many people, so it will be easier to turn your Hall into a common workplace.

It already has space to fit multiple desks and chairs and electrical ports to power up your devices.

However, the idea may seem implausible if you live in a family with children because they will easily walk into your workspace.

b. Home Office in the Basement

Be careful about setting a home office in a basement located underground because the cold drafts coming off the floor may easily make it an inhabitable place.

A well-lit basement can become the best alternative for an office room.

A quiet place, you can easily set up your office to avoid noises and foot traffic prevalent in other parts of your home.

Then there are issues of adequately lighting the room, fitting the desks for each person, and adding other amenities in an already limited basement space.

c. Home Office in the Kitchen

The Kitchen is a spacious area inside the home that can easily be turned into a workplace.

The dining table serves as a desk for multiple people, so you need not buy an additional desk.

Accessing meals and drink also become easy when you are already inside the Kitchen.

However, working in a functional kitchen will prove to be a danger to your life, electrical devices, paperwork, and office tools.

Hence, choose a kitchen that you rarely use to set up a common workplace.

d. Home Office in the Garage

Many people set up gyms, entertainment rooms, man caves in their garages, so it is not an impossible idea to set up your home office in the Garage.

However, unlike other parts of the home, you need to protect your Garage by fireproofing and cold proofing it.

A garage can quickly get chilly when the temperature drops, and working in the cold may not be favorable.

Another thing to consider is the garage flooring by adding epoxy or carpet appropriate for the office setting.

Appropriate spaces for home office
Appropriate spaces for a home office (Source: pixabay.com)

If none of these seems like a wise option, you need to look for a professional place outside.

Do not worry yet! You can easily find shared workspaces, hot desks, or an empty room to create a common workplace at websites like Coworker.com and FindWorkSpaces.com.

2. Design the Layout

There are multiple ways to design the home office layout to cause minimum distraction when working in a team.

Properly laying out the space will also help to keep your focus on your work.

a. Facing Away From Each Other

This is the traditional way of organizing individuals’ desks where each person faces the wall or corners.

Here are the pros and cons of setting up the home office facing away from each other.

PROSCONS
You will have your corner that you can dedicate as your workspaceAnother person can quickly look over your shoulder and pry on your work
Design and decorate your side of the wall as per your need.The other members and their wall will show up in your video conferences.

Get a portable room divider to keep prying eyes away and use a detachable blue screen on your chair whenever you are video conferencing.

Body posture
Working in a common workplace (Source: Pixabay.com)

b. Facing Each Other

Facing each other works effectively when working in the same team or a task; however, it may not be favorable for a shared office with three people.

PROSCONS
Work without worrying about anyone looking through your stuffFacing each other may easily distract you from your work.
Video conferencing is made easy when nobody is sitting behind you.You are less likely to have your personal workspace with a decorated wall.

c. Sitting in a Row

Sitting in a row works best for home offices that are smaller and wider in size.

A single row will accommodate each member without worrying about separating the room into three.

PROSCONS
You all can enjoy a perfect spot such as a window with a view.You will constantly be seeing each other’s screens.
Video conferencing is made easy, with nobody sitting directly behind you.The workspace becomes constricted when another person sits right beside you.
Sitting in a same row
Sitting in the same row (Source: unsplash.com)

d. A Common Desk

Using a common desk is atypical with most shared workspaces where each person takes their favorite side of the same desk.

PROSCONS
It will help foster communication and productivity when you are working on the same team.Sitting on the same table may create distractions such as constant shaking of the table.
You will save a lot of space and cost on installing individual desks.You will not have your own space or a dedicated desk.

3. Organize Desks

When setting up desks for three people in a common workplace, you should first determine space availability before deciding on the desks.

Mainly, there are three types of desks suitable for a co-working space.

a. Hot Desks

Hot desks are like any other desk but instead of assigning the same desk to a person, whoever comes first takes the desk.

It is more common in a large workspace that sees a lot of workers. However, you can use this for a three-people office as well.

Hot desk sitting
Hot desk sitting (Source: Unsplash)

b. Fixed Desks

A fixed desk will be assigned to a person at all times. It is like having your desk.

Choosing the fixed desk should depend on the room size. Installing large wood desks may be detrimental for a smaller room.

Thus, you can choose portable desks for three that can easily be assembled or dissembled as per your need.

c. Cabin space

Cabin space is a typical office setting where each worker sits in their respective cubicle.

Having a large cabin for a home office room may not be possible. However, you can rely on portable partitions to create your respective cabin.

4. Desk Options for Shared Home Office

Depending on the space availability and privacy required by each worker, you can install different types of desks.

a. Writing Desk

The writing deks are minimalist and easily fit any compact office space.

It boasts a large desktop space for laptops and a few amenities. In addition, the table is lightweight, making it easy to carry around to places.

Find this perfect writing desk for your common workspace Poly and Bark Ralston Writing Desk Versatile and Modern on Amazon.

b. Foldable Desk

A foldable table is a great option for a small home office because the portable design makes it easy to install and remove whenever needed.

It also boasts an ergonomic design that will fit any corners or walls with ease.

Find this amazing  Foldable Desk for your shared home office on Amazon.

c. Standing Desk

Standing desks are great for maintaining your posture and keeping you productive at all times.

They can be a great choice for home office workers who like spending time working standing.

Invest in sit-stand desks that allow you to sit as well as stand whenever needed.

Buy this Ergonomic and Adjustable design FAMISKY Adjustable Standing Desk on Amazon.

d. L-Shaped Desk

L-Shaped Desks are great for accomodating one to three people. They fit snugly into the corners. It also offers plenty of legroom, but it may not provide privacy.

If you like an ergonomic table for small room space, consider L-shaped desks for your office.

Here is our top recommendation for L shaped desk perfect for your common Home Office.

Teraves Modern L-Shaped Desk is a lightweight and modern desk with ample desktop space. Find this desk on Amazon.

L-Shaped Desk for Common Workspace
L-Shaped Desk for Common Workspace (Source: Amazon)

Alternatively, you can rely on desks or dining table available in you home to convert into an office desk.

Here is how you can determine the right size of desk for three.

Factors to Consider When Creating a Shared Home Office

While finding a common workplace may seem like a plausible office-space solution, you should not overlook that it should be spacious, comfortable, and functional.

The common office may take on more functions than simply a place to spend the day working.

For example, along with a personal workstation, you may need additional space to meet clients, organize meetings, park your vehicles, and cook your meal if you are up to it.

Here are a few essential things to watch out for if you’re considering sharing a single space among three people.

1. Location for Home Office

The first thing to consider when creating a co-working space is the location.

Not everyone has room to spare at home, so your best option is to rent a space that is affordable, close to your residence, and the decor matching your need.

It is also a key factor when deciding on a place because the location’s distance will determine your commute time.

If you intend to work remotely, your primary focus should be choosing a location that is easily accessible.

The place that is closer to a diner and shops should be another priority.

If you often meet clients at the workplace, you should find a place close to the town.

2. Space Available

The spacious room is probably the main concern for a comfortable three-people co-working experience.

An ideal common workplace has enough space for individual workstations and spare room to store filing cabinets, printers, supplies, and other office tools.

An Office Space
An Office Space (Source: Unsplash)

If you have room to spare or a garage, that will be great in saving on rent. If you have a room along with a kitchen to spare, it will be even better. You can cook your meal!

However, ensure that your chosen space is free from noise, lighting problems, outsiders’ presence, and other distractions.

3. Budget for Shared Home Office

Like starting a business requires capital, you would need a budget to create a common workplace.

A poorly planned budget may blow your expenses out of proportion, making it difficult to pay for essentials such as rent, Wi-Fi, office supplies, and refreshments.

Thus, you should try keeping your expenses to a bare minimum.

Start with choosing an appropriate workplace that fits your budget before a higher rent becomes a liability.

Creating a co-working space at home may cut your expenses by half because you can cut commuting costs, rent, meal delivery, internet connection, and other essentials.

4. Seating Required

Seating is another crucial factor in a common workplace, including a quality chair and a functional desk.

While you may enjoy working sitting on a sofa or bed with your laptop on your lap, you cannot possibly do the same in a common workplace.

Invest in quality home office chairs and desks to create a comfortable environment.

Wrong chairs are the leading cause of bad body posture, backache, and stress; thus, consider buying chairs without wheels for home office.

In addition, zest up your work desk by enhancing its aesthetic appeal. A nicely decorated and managed desk will make you more productive.

To decide what size of desk will fit your common workplace, consider going through this article about finding the right size desk for the home office.

5. Amenities for Shared Home Office

The common office amenities may include hardware, software, and connectivity, including Wi-Fi, Fax, Telephone, and games.

However, you may not need all of these items for a home office; hence, decide what amenities are most important or expendable.

If each of you uses printers daily, buying a common printer will help everybody out. However, if only one person uses it, then they should get their own.

A common amenity may also include games such as table tennis board, dartboard, and board games.

Playing games together
Playing games together (Source: Unsplash)

Likewise, you can share expenses for common amenities like Wi-Fi, multi-plugs, antivirus software, a room heater, Air conditioner, Security, Power backup, etc., that everyone uses.

6. Flexibility

Working in a shared workspace should not deprive you of adding your creative touch and personal preference to the workplace.

If you enjoy seeing a particular color on the walls that helps you work, then you should decide to paint each of your corners the way you like.

Likewise, decide on getting additional amenities in your office room or modifying the décor per individual need.

A  couch to sit on, a table to eat, or a mini basketball to indulge during the break can be a great addition to your home office, but be wary about the additional space and costs.

7. Insurance

Your workplace is at risk of unforeseen events like fire, theft, flood, and accidents.

You should get insurance coverage to protect against unplanned costs that significantly impact your new workplace like any business.

Even if your building is insured, you will still need to ensure your office contents to protect yourself financially.

Check with insurers under general liability insurance and property damages to find policies to cover loss from damages in coworking spaces.

8. Maintain Good Lighting

Appropriate lighting is a must for any working space, especially a home office with three different desks.

If your common workplace has windows, you can harness the natural light to minimize artificial lighting.

The full-spectrum illumination emitted by the sunlight makes perfect ambient lighting, which is appropriate for focusing on the screen.

Home Office Productivity
Home Office Productivity (Source: Pixabay)

For the rooms with minimum sunlight, you can invest in some task lighting such as floor lamps and desk lamps for your work.

Helpful Products for Shared Home Offices

Home office products can be both assets and liabilities, depending on their usage.

For a shared space, essential office products could help to increase your productivity.

Hence, do not spend on things that you end up rarely using or keeping in storage at all times.

Here is the list of items that will undoubtedly enhance your home office.

ProductPurposeImage
Webaround Blue Screen ChairThe blue screen attached to your chair hides the noisy background when you are at a video conference.
Acoustic Foam PanelsThe 12 pack acoustic foam panels, will help dampen the wall and reduce noise and reverb, especially if recording voice or sound.
Origami Folding DeskA foldable desk that is perfect for a cramped workplace. It does not require an assembly and opens/closes in less than 60 seconds.
Airpods for Noise-cancelingIt is not uncommon. Noise-canceling yet comfortable earplugs are a great help in a shared workplace that quickly becomes noisy.
Jarvis Standing DeskSit or stand desk that you can use as per your need. It will be an excellent use for workers who like working standing up.
Dyson Table LampA 3-point motion light is perfect for task lighting on the work desks.
Yootech Wireless ChargerThese wireless chargers are great for charging smartphones without plug-in into your laptop or circuit boards; hence, they free up electrical ports.
ULANZI Portable Video LightingIt is a perfect portable video lighting for YouTubers. You can rely on its Full Color LED lighting with 2500-9000K dimmable panel for home offices.
Esright 3 Panel Office Room Divider3-panel divider with lightweight design. 5.8 FT(H)×8.4 FT(W) in size with and polyethlene fabric
VredHom Lateral Wood File CabinetLateral filing cabinet. 110 lb with four drawers. 23.62"W x 11.81"D x 23.62"H design

However, home office products are not limited to these items. You can shop around for many different products that can be used by one or multiple persons.

Home Office Etiquette for a Common Workplace

Office etiquette defines what is or is not appropriate in a common workplace.

These are not rules but necessary customs for maintaining a workplace and encouraging professionalism, mutual respect, and peer-to-peer communication.

It is quintessential to determine appropriate manners and acceptable behaviors when sharing a space with three different individuals.

To help you better, we have listed out some standard office etiquette for all three of you.

1. Respect Each Other’s Privacy

Respecting each other’s privacy in a common workplace implies accepting the social boundary you do not offend someone.

You may accidentally invade others’ privacy when working in the same place; thus, it is essential to decide what is not allowed in a common workplace.

Here are a few things to keep in mind

  • Do not go through someone else’s digital device, laptop, phone.
  • Avoid looking into their files and folders.
  • Never pick up stuff from their desk, including office supplies.
  • Do not switch on/off their digital device without their presence.
  • Avoid reading the messages that pop up on the laptop or smartphone’s screen.
  • Keep your items locked inside a dedicated drawer or cabinet to keep them away from someone’s reach.

Moreover, Informing about each other’s boundaries will help prevent the breaching of privacy.

2. Eat in the Break Room or Outside

If someone does not like the habit of eating at the workspace, it is better to take your food away and eat at a designated place, such as break room, Kitchen, or outside.

Eating at your desk can cause distracting aromas and nasty chewing sounds that could upset the other.

By designating a location to eat meals, you can save many confrontations.

In addition, you can save yourself from dropping your food or drinks over the critical files.

3. Be Mindful and Courteous

Sharing a common workplace comes with a significant responsibility!

You may have your workstation, but you should be mindful of the other’s presence.

Here are a few examples.

  • Disturbing others in the room or creating a nuisance by loudly playing music, games, or watching movies.
  • Talking a bit loudly over the voice-call and phone.
  • Bringing in guests or friends during the work hour.
  • Usurping a significant amount of shared resources.
  • Letting your phone continuously ring.

When something is not going well for one of the members, be courteous enough to walk out of the room to let them decompress.

When working among a group of people, it is good to be mindful of others to avoid confrontations.

4. Keep your Devices Silent

Letting your phone ring non-stop with calls, unread messages, social media, and email notifications during the work hour can seriously distract others from their task.

Be mindful of their presence, lower your phone’s ring volume or better, keep it in a silence or vibration mode.

Although other members may choose not to tell you to keep your phone quiet, you should take it up yourself and keep your devices in a NON-BOTHERING MODE while working.

5. Keep the Workplace Clean

This is an untold rule of any shared workplace.

Clean your workstation before taking off so the other will not have to look at the scrapes the following day.

Get an individual dustbin for your workstation, or even better, share money to get one for your workplace.

While keeping your workstation clean is important, cleaning the common workplace is even more critical.

Dispose of any scraps, papers, pins, adhesive tapes, or faulty printouts after using so others do not have to meddle with your garbage.

 Is your desk always messy? Read more to find out why your work desk is always messy

6. Do not Pry at Other’s Work

Nobody likes the idea of somebody else going through their files, documents, email, and social media profile.

You set a bad example if you pry on others’ work. So, do not expect that others will not do the same with you.

It is an excellent idea to minimize your browser tabs, close the email application, and keep the phone away from others reach when you walk out of the room.

Prying on others work
Prying on others work (Source: pixabay.com)

It will effectively prevent others from prying on your work or items.

7. Do not Use Other’s Devices and Supplies

Maybe your laptop is stuck, and you immediately need to send an email, or you ran out of stapler pins or glue; what would you do?

Most of us would request the other person to lend their resource for the time being, but not everybody chooses to practice the same.

Taking their possessions without seeking prior approval will ultimately break their faith in you, thus, running the common workplace’s environment.

Tips to Make a Shared Workplace Better

Working in a group will help save many expenses, but sometimes it may invite many discussions or heat when things do not go as planned.

Your job is to set up an appropriate shared workplace and create a favorable environment so all three of you enjoy your time working in a single space.

Here are the eight best tips to help make your shared workplace better.

  • Treat each other with respect –Treat others like how you want to be treated, with care! This will prevent many unforeseen confrontations and backstabbing.
  • Communicate constantly –A shared workplace will thrive when all three of you communicate regarding every possible thing. It may include designing the room, refilling office supplies, segregating works, bringing groceries, etc.
  • Get your stuff –If you do not like sharing items such as meals, office tools, multi-plugs, etc., it is better to get your things and ask others not to use them.
  • Respect boundaries –It is common sense to respect your co-worker’s privacy. Do not eavesdrop on their calls and messages or try to access their devices without their permission.
  • Get a good headphone –It has a double use. You can listen to music without disturbing others and as well as cancel the background noise.
  • Establish rules –This is the headway to create a professional environment.  Make standard rules such as not eating on the work desk, disposing of garbage every day, taking personal calls outside the office, etc.
  • Meet payment deadline –When it is time to pay for rent, Wi-Fi, utilities, and office supplies, ensure to pay up on time so you do not make it difficult or the other two.
  • Foster positivity –Although you are working on a separate desk, you are working as a team. Foster inclusivity by taking breaks together, chatting, sharing meals, going for a drink, or holidays, etc.
Happy co-workers
Happy co-workers (Source: Unsplash)

Conclusion

Whether you want a temporary workplace or a permanent home office, getting a co-working space will prove to be an affordable option for a three-people team.

It may look like a daunting task at first, but setting up a co-working space for three people is relatively easy.

All you need to do is refer to the information and tips mentioned above to create a harmonious and productive shared workplace in a limited space with a minimum budget.

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