Work from home office changes

We’re now past seven months of working from home and I’m finally getting around to getting a better work from home setup.

I started in the way that a lot of people will have begun lock down — working at the dining room table.

When the schools closed and the kids, aged 7 and 4, were going to be at home all day every day, it was time to relocate to a place where I could get some quiet time — our bedroom.

I started using a folding camp table so that it would be easy to pack it away at the end of the week and have our bedroom back on the weekends, but of course after the first two weekends of putting it away the camp table just stayed up and in the way from then onwards.

Extending up

We had committed to extending into the loft at the end of 2019, but because of the lockdown in March the suppliers stopped all work which in turn meant that the people that had to do the work had no materials to do it with.

Fortunately, when they were able to start building again we were one of the first jobs that okayed them to start immediately.

Let’s start from the end and work our way back….

The finished product

As you enter the office door
A view of the old desk location, now this is what Zoom callers see as my background.
My old background now turned new desk
A look back to the door from the window.

What I used

  • Multi Plug 3m Extension Lead — this gave me 8 power plug options with an additional 5 USB charging plugs, plus it’s a surge protector. At 3M long it also wrapper around the outside wall and is fixed to the underside of the desk to keep the cable management tidy.
  • Dual Monitor Mount 23″ – 27″ — I have two Dell 24″ monitors which take up a bit of space with a base, so this holds onto them and leaves space under the monitors. One warning with these, if you’re not using 27″ monitors and you want them to meet flush in the middle then the arms need to come a long way forward. Not an issue for me because I like the separation in the middle, if you’re looking for one BIG monitor I recommend looking at the 49″ LG Widescreen.
  • ASUS RT-AC68U AC1900 AiMesh Dual-Band Gigabit Wireless Router — after we moved into the loft and I began working in the office I knew I needed better coverage with our wireless internet. This Mesh Router allows you to keep the same SSID (what your internet is called) and roam between multiple routers (I have one in the living room and one in my office on the first floor which covers all three floors nicely). You need at least two of them, and you can control everyone’s access to the internet as well (time based, bandwidth, allowed sites etc… perfect for when the kids get their own devices)
  • Oak Work Top — This is 1860 x 635 x 38mm Oak veneer version. Don’t let the “veneer” part fool you though, this is SOLID and was a bit of a mission to get it up the stairs. I went with a kitchen worktop instead of a desk because I couldn’t get the desk I really wanted. If you’re buying from Amazon, you can pick up one similar at 2000 x 620 x 40mm.
  • Alex Draw Units — the act as the legs for the desk itself, killing two birds with one stone. I was amazed at just how much storage you get with these things. There are five drawers, three large and two small but they fit a TONNE of stuff (they go back a mile).
  • Shelving Kallax Ikea — we originally bought a set of these for our son for all his toys. I have one set up vertically which has the printer and the mesh router ontop, along with papers and notebooks. The other sits behind me laid horizontally which also contains all my notebooks as well as a 65 key Yamaha keyboard and 50watt Boss Katana amplifier.
  • Nona USB c to USB dongles — because the Mac has four USB-C cables and everything I have uses USB, these dongles are great as a one to one switch and are super handy.
  • 2 x Dell Ultrasharp monitors — these fit nicely onto the dual monitor arms that clamp onto the back of the Ikea worktop. I’m likely going to trade these in for the 27″ Dell versions… but not for another year.
  • Microphone Boom — holds onto my Rode Podcaster Mic and acts as a place to rest my headphones as well. I originally had a Rode stand which was great when I couldn’t clamp anything to my old desk , but it took up room on the desk whic I’m glad to have back. This boom arm is really flexible as well and can come in on the side or from overhead depending on what shot I need on the camera.
  • Rode Podcaster — this was a bit expensive when I first bought it but I love this microphone. If you decide to pick one up, make sure you also get the shock mount and mic shield.

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