Before the pandemic hit I was like most people working in an office with maybe one day a week working from home which consisted of me working from my dining room table on my laptop. So when we where all told to work from home and it became clear that it was going to be like this for a some time I started to think about a more permanent space where I could work in more comfort. Not only did i need somewhere that was comfortable I wanted somewhere that separate from where we relaxed and socialised as a family so there was a degree a separation from my work and home life.
My starting point was getting a desk set up and finding the right spot so that I could be as productive as possible. I decided that I was going to re-purpose some left over oak kitchen worktop from when we had our new kitchen installed and I had the perfect spot in my spare room by the window. As the desk was going to be in an alcove I decided that I didn’t want to have legs and that it would be a floated desk keeping it nice a minimal looking. Using some old 2×4 and some wood glue we attached (well my neighbour) it to the wall.
I also wanted the space to be shall I say as ergonomic as it could be so I started looking at monitors to reduce the neck and back pain that I had been getting from hunching over a laptop. I went for a Lenovo 28in monitor that I placed on top of a box to get it to the right height. I already had an external keyboard and mouse as well as a laptop stand so this was a pretty good start but I wasn’t happy with it. I didn’t like the the amount of space that having my laptop as a second monitor was taking and couldnt settle on the right place for it. This is when I started my now obsession with watching YouTube Video on desk set-ups and I started to get some ideas on how I could improve the space.
I didn’t need to worry about a chair as work had let us take one from the office and they are nice a comfortable. I saw that a lot of people where using vertical stands for their laptops and saved a ton of space so I jumped onto Amazon (my go to for pretty much everything these days) and found a vertical stand which was roughly £10 and it fits both my windows laptop (work) and my 13in Macbook Pro. I also wanted somewhere to put my wireless headphones when they were not been used so again for less £10 I purchased a headphone stand, this stops them from getting damaged but also looks pretty good my the desk.
At this point I was fairly happy with the set up but after searching more YouTube videos I started looking at tech which could improve my set-up and help make my space feel more productive. The were a couple of things that I added firstly was some lights, I decided to go for the Philip Hue play bar as I already had some hue lights around the house. These went behind my monitor and provides a nice back drop and helps with the glare, they also have loads of different colours so you can choose the colour based on your mood. The other purchase and this is one that I really toyed with was updating my keyboard and mouse to the Logitech MX Keys and the MX Master 3 wireless mouse. The reason that I really toyed with this was the price involved as they cost around £100 each so I watched a lot of reviews and decided to take the plunge. I am glad I did as they are lovely to use (you can see more detail on these on my Desk Set-up & Tech page)
I had a few more things that I wanted to add some that I already had such as the echo show, which meant that I could control my lights through Alexa and have a nice be clock face on display. My wireless phone charger which is also used to charge my Airpod Pros, I like having this on my desk as it means I don’t have loads of wires and more often than not my phone or AirPods will need charging. The biggest tweak that I have made to the set-up since I started is a change of monitor, I tend to have a multiple documents open so I wanted a bigger screen as I don’t have to use my laptop as a second screen. After a lot of research I decided to upgrade to an UltraWide 34in LG Monitor which has helped no end with my productivity as I don’t have to go back and forward between different doc’s.
I am still looking for ways to improve the set-up and below are some items that i am looking at:
- Pictures for the space – I have been focusing on the desk itself so haven’t spend much time on the aesthetics of the office space.
- additional shelving – Rather than having desk drawers I want to utilise the space about my desk to display book and keep my notebooks.
- Moving to a sit – stand desk – I am not sure on this but they look pretty cool and I do spend most of my day sitting.
- change in colour scheme for office – there are some holes that need filling (we are not good at DYI) and I want to refresh the paint at the same time.
- I can honestly say that having this space has made working from home more productive than I thought it would be. I actually enjoy going into the office in the morning and it puts me straight into the mind set for work. I would honestly recommend that if you don’t have a dedicated space for working then to consider it and you don’t need to have a big budget to make it productive for you.
For descriptions of all the pieces that I have on my desk please head over to my Desk Set-up and Tech page. This page will be kept up-to date with any new additions as well as my favourite everyday tech.