My Home Office
I’ve been working from home for over a year now and thought it could be helpful to share my home office setup. My first stint working from home was a disaster, mainly because I didn’t invest in an actual office. I learned from that lesson and am now truly able to enjoy the remote life while keeping a decent balance.
I prefer a combination of sitting and standing throughout the day. There’s a number of standing desk options, but I wanted something I could purchase once and never need to worry about again (I keep things a very long time). I went with the BDI Sequel 6052 desk in Walnut. The presets are nice as I have one for standing, one for sitting and one for using a balance board.
There are times when I stand for hours before sitting down. I use the Topo mat by Ergodriven under my desk. The different edges and surface allow me to stretch my legs and feet while standing. When I go to sit, it slides forward with no real effort.
I’ve really come to enjoy standing throughout the day. I wanted to take that to the next level and decided to purchase a balance board. It was important that I still be able to type and work, so I went with a Kumo Board and use the inflatable disc.
Where I used to have a generic chair, I have since replaced it with a more ergonomic friendly one. I was tempted to go with the Herman Miller Aeron chair, but never really enjoyed the mesh material used on the seat surface. I decided to go with a Steelcase Leap which gives me a lot of adjustment options, including a seat depth which helps me a lot.
I like to keep my desk clean sans a few essentials. I have a cork mat for my coffee in the morning and several bamboo coasters for cups or water. I keep a small battery/USB powered diffuser on at all times, usually with cinnamon oil present. There are two hour glasses––5 minutes and 30 minutes––that I use during standing sessions. A wireless charging pad that runs from my monitor. A candle for when I want to work with softer light during the night. A picture frame with a photo of my wife and I. Inside my desk drawer, I keep a few extra coasters, a small bamboo organizer, cables for charging, essential oils, several pens and fingerless gloves.
I currently use a matte finish Dell 34" wide screen monitor on an Amazon Basic stand. Rarely do I adjust it, but it’s nice to have the option to move it around. What’s great about the stand is that I can adjust it to be at eye-level which has me avoiding bending my neck too much.
I attend a ton of video-meetings, so having a good camera was critical. I use a Logitech HD Pro camera for both my video and audio. Given the better quality, I’ve also found the setup to be useful for recording demos and other video-based material.
Trying to use my laptop as a second screen wasn’t something I was interested in, so I opted for a cleaner laptop holder. I ended up going with a Henge Dock which places my laptop in a vertical position and looks nice.
I tend to mock up designs a lot throughout the day. I’ve tried software-based tools or tablets, but nothing beats a good whiteboard. I wanted something I could roll around easily and large enough to capture a bunch of ideas without needing to erase. I went with this whiteboard which comes with wheels and a few accessories.
Not quite office-specific, but I thought it was good to include anyway. My feet benefit from having proper arch support and I don’t want to wear shoes at home. I opted for Haflinger Grizzly Clogs after being recommended them by a running shop I purchase my shoes from. I wear them every day and while they have worn a bit faster than I hoped, they are some of the best shoes I have ever worn. Don’t knock the clogs until you try them.
For those who know me, this section alone could be its own blog post. Coffee is integral to work and always enjoyed in my office, so it’s included here. For serving, I use a Hario V60 600ml glass container and a ceramic V60 drip. All my ceramic for drinking coffee is from Urban Tribe in Shanghai. For espresso, I use a Compak E5 OD grinder, La Marzocco GS3 MP machine and Acaia Lunar scale. For pour-over, I use a Nuova Simonelli Grinta Grinder, Fellow Stagg Kettle and Acaia Pearl scale. For all dosing, I use a Lyn Weber Blind Shaker.
I am incredibly lucky to have an office that not only has a decent amount of space, but also four large windows. It’s very rare that I need to turn on any lights and can instead rely on natural light from outside. Beyond my work setup, I have an Eames Lounge Chair (an incredible gift from my business partner) for reading or taking calls. A few plants to bring in some of the outdoors inside. Some art work picked up on journeys abroad with my wife. And a Sonos One that I have on throughout the day for listening to the radio or Pandora.
As I stated at the start of the post, my first attempt at working from home resulted in complete failure. My anxiety shot through the roof, I found myself working all the time, never taking breaks and was generally miserable. On my second attempt, I made a sizable investment in having a real office filled with things that made me happy and comfortable.
It was important for me to have a clear divide between work and home, so I could keep balance. A lot of my office items weren’t cheap, but I very much take care of the things I buy and fully expect to keep them for many years to come. Today, I am happy to say that work stays in the office and rarely, if ever, do I take my laptop anywhere else in the house.