It’s been 2 years since I started improving up my home office setup to aid productivity and ergonomics. Just before the lockdown happened, I had decided to work from home more often. I was working with colleagues who were based in the US or Europe, so being in the office wasn’t really necessary. But when COVID hit, work from home wasn’t optional anymore.
I started out with a not-too-large 120 x 60 cm IKEA table top and popped it on a height adjustable table frame, then added a decent monitor – the LG 27UL650, a felt table mat. And for awhile, I worked directly off my macbook and the attached external monitor, and after my wife started upgrading her setup to function more ergonomically, I started getting ideas.
I had a spare anglepoise arm lamp which I propped up onto a TEE bookshelf which I had lying around. That gave me enough working light in my otherwise dim north-facing British box room. I also installed a magnetic whiteboard, although I admit it’s not got much use since I capture most of my things on software these days. For some reason, I still like having it next to me.
Then I decided to move to a separate mouse-and-keyboard setup, and added a Logitech K380 keyboard and a spare Apple Magic Mouse I had lying around.
Despite the anglepoise lamp next to me, I found myself really struggling with the lighting situation. I was really tired looking at screens the whole day, and I was looking for solutions. After awhile, I found the BENQ screenbar plus, which I’d never thought of before but after some research and consideration, took the plunge and now I can’t live without it. It’s made such a huge difference making my environment conducive for the work hours.
Later, I switched from a magic mouse to a trackpad, which was also a big ergonomic upgrade for me.
I also added a few small creature comforts over time. During the summmer months when it got quite warm and sweaty, I bought a little clamp USB fan which was good enough to cool me down or help the air move a little bit. Then I recently bought a cheapy desk clock and a magnetic alarm to help me not get too sucked into the screen and countless app and browser windows.
But I think I’ve crossed a line now — I’ve just bought a podcast USB microphone (the Fifine K390). I’ve yet to really use it for recordings and demos, which was the main reason I bought it. It feels like a luxury purchase, but I suppose remote calls are not going to go away anytime soon.