Since the beginning of the pandemic I, like most people, have been working from home. I also left New York City, where my company’s office is, making remote work my permanent work situation. Over the past couple of years I’ve purchased more and more things to improve my remote work setup - a new desk, a microphone, a webcam, etc. This is the canonical post of my home office setup.
I use the Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk, a sit-stand desk from Fully, specifically the 60-inch by 30-inch bamboo desktop with a programmable sit-stand frame. The size is perfect, I don’t think I’ll ever get a smaller table top to use as my primary office table. The sit-stand frame is great too, with a click of a button I can sit or stand at the perfect height for me. I haven’t owned the table top long enough to comment on it’s durability but so far I’m loving it.
Most of the day I’m working on a work-issued 2016 15-inch MacBook Pro. It sits in clamshell mode, though I lay it flat just in case I need to open it to reconnect something. My personal laptop, and the laptop I’m currently typing this on, is a 2021 14-inch MacBook Pro with a M1 Max processor. This laptop is the best computer I’ve ever owned. The screen is gorgeous, I love the new design, and the keyboard is nicer than any MacBook before it. The M1 Max is definitely overpowered for my needs but I wanted 32 GBs of RAM. It’s worth saying again, this laptop is the best computer I’ve ever owned.
I use the Dell S2722QC 27-inch 4K monitor. When looking for a new monitor my priorities were: price, size, pixels-per-inch - in that order. This monitor is… fine. But I think that’s the state of the monitor market, everything is mostly fine. I mount the monitor on the Fully Jarvis Monitor Mounting Arm. The arm holds my monitor fine and I appreciate the mobility and extra desk space. My only complaint about the mounting arm is that I wish it were a tad smaller, it’s quite bulky.
I talk into the Shure MV7X with the Elgato Wave XLR audio interface. For my needs, this setup is awesome. The Shure MV7X is a great sounding dynamic microphone, it’s sold as a microphone for podcasters and as a buddying podcaster and full-time Zoom conference caller it works great. I’ve gotten compliments from my teammates and I like how I sound in podcasts. The Elgato Wave XLR is great for what I need it to do. It’s compact so it doesn’t take up too much room on my desk (a big plus) and Elgato has opted to implement features of other audio interfaces in software instead of hardware saving on cost and physical size. I use the Elgato Wave Mic Arm LP (low profile) to hold the mic. I like that it holds the mic comfortably out of sight from my webcam, I don’t like how hard it is to adjust it. Other mic arms (like the Rode PS1) can adjust with a slight push or pull, the Elgato Wave Mic Arm LP requires twisting knobs, making adjustments impractical during meetings. I value an out-of-camera mic more than I do on-the-fly adjustments.
I use the Logitech C920S HD Pro 1080p Webcam with Privacy Shutter. Any 1080p webcam would be an upgrade over the 720p webcam in my work-issued MacBook Pro. In early 2020 my home office became a corner in my bedroom so apart from it being a decent webcam the privacy shutter was a must-have. After multiple iterations of home office accessories this Logitech webcam has stuck around.
I use the Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Professional Studio Monitor headphones. I’m not the type of person who can tell the differences between good headphones and great headphones. When I was in the market for new wired headphones I wanted something that doesn’t cost too much, sounds good, and is comfortable to wear over long periods of time. The only reason I bought the ATH-M50X was because it was recommended at the bottom of Marco Arment’s Podcasting Microphones Mega-Review and I trust Marco’s opinion. After using them 5 days a week for the past year I can confidently say they were a great buy.
In my mind my chair is the least exciting part of my home office setup but that’s only because it’s the thing I’ve owned the longest. I sit on the Herman Miller Aeron Chair, which I bought about 5 years ago. It’s one of the most expensive components to my Home Office but it’s worth every penny. I’ve spent thousands of hours in this chair and have very few complaints. If something happened to this one I’d instantly buy another.
I type on the Keychron K2 Mechanical Keyboard with brown switches and the RGB backlight aluminum frame. For the price it’s a great mechanical keyboard. I’ve mostly used it as a bluetooth keyboard but recently switched to using it wired - not having to worry about the keyboard battery dying in the middle of a meeting (it’s happened more than once) is worth an extra cable on my desk. If I type on the K2 for too long my hands start to hurt, meaning it’s not my long-term solution. If Keychron made a split-mechanical keyboard I’d buy one today. There isn’t a split-mechanical keyboard on the market that has a good balance of aesthetics and cost, once there is I’ll probably switch.
Alongside my keyboard is the Logitech M720 Triathlon Wireless Mouse. I don’t have a strong affinity towards this mouse, it’s accurate, comfortable, and programmable, all of which are nice. I prefer the Apple Magic Mouse but given that I switch back and forth between two computers I needed a mouse that can easily switch between both. Used with the unifying receiver plugged into my Thunderbolt dock (more on this below) makes the computer switching seamless.
My desk mat
Underneath the keyboard and mouse is the Orbitkey Desk Mat. I have the “Large” sized mat and it fits on my desk perfectly. The “Quick Access Toolbar” is a great idea, I keep a pen and chapstick in it. And the “Magnetic Cable Organizer” is a wonderful companion to a wired keyboard. The desk mat looks and feels premium and I’m really happy with it.
A recent (late 2021) addition to my Home Office is the Elgato Key Light. My desk is in front of a window which provides plenty of natural light during the day. But at night, the lack of ceiling lights made it so that it was nearly impossible to look even decent on evening Zoom calls. With the Key Light that problem mostly goes away. It’s probably overkill for what I need, I keep the brightness pretty low, so besides the fact that I could’ve saved some money I’m happy with my purchase.
My other accessories
The thing that connects it all together is the Anker 577 Thunderbolt Dock. Everything on my desk plugs into the dock (which I keep under my desk) and a single Thunderbolt cable plugs into my MacBook Pro. The dock has just the right amount of ports for my needs and the single cable makes it so easy to switch my personal laptop in place of my work laptop once the day ends. My only issue with the dock so far is that the ethernet port stopped working less than one month after I bought it, thankfully before the Amazon return window. I replaced it with another model that’ll hopefully hold up better this time.
I use the Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 for quick access to apps and websites I use frequently throughout the day. Even though I use the Stream Deck multiple times a day, out of everything in my Home Office it’s the thing I need the least. It’s a luxury but a luxury that’s worth it to me.
To keep things off of my desk I use the APPHOME Headphone Hook and the Cup-Holster Cup Holder for my headphones and water bottle, respectively. Before I bought a larger desk the need was practical, now it’s because I prefer the look of having fewer things on my desk.
To keep things under my desk I have the TAP-UP Cable Box. It works okay, I like the built-in cable organizer on the desk clamp, but it’s so big. I’d like to switch this out for something smaller but it’s under the desk (i.e. out of eye sight) so it’s not such a big deal.
This guide was last updated in February 2022.