Sit back and get comfortable. This is how I felt after hearing, from an Uber All-hands, we were going to be working from home until June 2021. The hits keep on coming in 2020. During these last 5 months, I learned I really enjoyed walking by my friend’s area at work catching up on random stuff, having serendipitous lunch discussions, and brainstorming or jamming on a whiteboard. The simple joys of seeing someone laugh in-person. All things I truly miss. But, I coped with it all since it is out of my control. It would be over 15 months by the time we get back to the office. I figured I should get situated and accept this reality.
In the beginning, I was working directly out of my bedroom. A natural start since I never really worked from home during my career. That got old real quick. The separation of work and my personal life was getting detrimentally blurred since it was where I slept. I never was able to turn off “work mode” and it was getting unhealthy. I needed a change. My brother mentioned we should take over the dining room table. No one was coming over anyways during these COVID-19 times, so using the dining room would be a good spot to set up the makeshift office.
Our dining room is situated right in the middle of the house. Right between the living room and the kitchen. So far, it has been perfect. An area where I can focus on work and if I ever needed a breather, I could go to the kitchen to make something, the living room to watch some TV, or back to my bedroom just to rest up. And sometimes, I would take my laptop outside on my porch for some fresh air and a different view. And funny enough, I have met more of my neighbors during these times than before just by working outside. Good times.
I do not think I will ever get used to this, but I have learned to deal with it. Unsure if we will ever be back in the office. Many tech companies are rethinking offices nowadays since it is clear folks are still performing while working from home. And even if we do, I wonder if it will be the same. I am excited to find out when the time comes. Until then, I am sure I will be continually evolving my office setup for the foreseeable future.
So, what is your home office setup? How are you handling this work from home reality?
Le Creuset French Press
I was in a habit of drinking 2-3 cups of coffee during the workweek. I could lift my hand up and see it jitter after a while. Using my huge french press made too much coffee. So, with this personal-sized french press, I get to 1 cup which is plenty to get me through the day.
Le Creuset Mug
I had to get the matching mug to go with my french press. It is a nice and hefty mug to hold my tasty coffee in the morning and keep it warm. It is also a good holder of the french press filter while a wait for the coffee to steep over time. Perfect combination.
Zojirushi Stainless Mug
You need to stay hydrated. I really like drinking ice-cold water, so the Zojirushi water bottle is the best to keep your water cold. Also, the flip-top for the lid that keeps the lid open and the silicone lip is nice.
Stanley Classic Easy-Pour Growler
Ok, I am a little lazy. With back-to-back Zoom meetings, I forget to get up and get water. So having a growler has been a lifesaver at times. Plus, it allows me to keep more water cool while a new batch is getting cold in the fridge.
Dell 24″ UltraSharp Monitor
A large bright monitor with a matte finish screen has helped as my main view when doing my work online. The adjustable height has been nice to support my frequent changes in seating.
Logitech C920s Pro HD Webcam
I have been using my MacBook Pro’s built-in camera for the longest time, but it was time to upgrade my Zoom video with this webcam. Plus, the privacy attachable cover is a nice touch.
Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016)
Both my personal and work laptop is a MacBook Pro. I have had a MacBook since college and never looked back.
Rain Design mStand
This laptop stand is a strong and sturdy stand, which elevates my laptop at a perfect height for me while I am working. The area under the laptop is a good area for accessories too.
Apple Magic Keyboard
Just a simple keyboard that works. It connects really well with my MacBook and super easy to charge up when the battery is depleted.
Sony Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones
When I want to tune out and get a ton of writing or work done, these headphones get me into the zone. These noise-canceling headphones let me escape in lofi hip-hop goodness. (thanks Spare5!)
Old Logitech Wired Headset
I was having a lot of Zoom issues when I was working from home. Specifically, whenever I joined a Zoom meeting I would cause echoes within the meeting, so I had to mute and unmute to clear it up. It was very annoying, so I dug up this headset from the early 2000s.
Office Chair from Uber
I do not know what type of chair this is, but it is super comfy. We were able to take home our office chairs from the Uber office (thanks Uber!) during these work from home times. I forgot how nice these were.
Satechi USB-C Slim Multi-Port
There are so many different wires. For your monitor, you charger, your headset, and your webcam. Instead of plugging them in separately, use a hub to connect it all. Then you can just connect one wire to your computer.
The headset was always in my way on my desk when I was not using it. Sometimes I would have kept it on my head to keep things clean. This headset hook is such a simple way to hang my headset when I am not using it.
UGREEN Desk Tablet Stand
This is a perfect spot for just placing my iPhone to see if anyone is calling me or any important push notifications. It is also adjustable for viewing videos if you need that. Plus, I definitely have used this as a fidget tool.
Bolt and Washer
I found this in a random conference room in the Uber offices. I have no idea what it was used for, but this is my favorite fidget tool. It is a bolt that you can stick into the washer. Two pieces that occupies my hands while I am in meetings.
This is a simple container of everything else. From post-it notes and pens to more fidget cubes or a knitted turkey (thank you Manda!), this is the final spot for my random accessories.
What is your home office setup? How are you handling this work from home reality?