/ office

My Home Office

I have worked from home since 2012. For the first three years, I really didn't do much to improve my home office, but in early 2015, I started thinking about how I could improve my workspace for greater comfort and ergonomics. This post is all about the enhancements I've made in the last 2 years.

The Desk

My desk that I used for a long time was just a cheap office desk I got from my job at the time. I'm in my home office between 8-10 hours a day, so I figured that it would be nice to stand half the time.

In late 2015, I began doing research on adjustable height sit/stand desks and came across this awesome review. In the review, they said that the Jarvis Bamboo desk was their favorite for the past 2 years.

My experience with Fully (ErgoDepot at the time), the company that makes the Jarvis desk, was amazing. You can customize the desk by adding grommets, choosing the size of the table top, the color of the legs, and other things like wire management.

For my desk, I went with the following config options (note that today, there are different options than what I was presented with):

  • Rectangle desk top
  • 60" x 30" desk top size
  • Grommets on the left and right sides
  • Black frame
  • Programmable memory controller
  • Complete wire management solution
  • Standard black Topo mat

The desk was shipped out the same day that I ordered it, and I received it 4 days later.

Putting it together was straight forward. The holes were pre-drilled on the desk top, and assembling the legs and motors was a breeze.

desk

Overall, I would say that this desk is my #1 favorite thing about my home office. I don't know how I lived without a sit/stand desk before.

The Keyboard

Up until early 2015, I used the wireless keyboard that comes with an iMac. While this does it's job and takes up very little room on a desk, it's not very ergonomic. It also uses rubber dome technology, so it doesn't feel that great to type on. This lead me to start researching mechanical keyboards.

As I was looking around at mechanical keyboards, I saw several people that had something called an Ergodox. The keyboard is all about ergonomics and customization. While this is amazing and all, you have to build it yourself. Yuck. I quickly started looking elsewhere.

The first mechanical keyboard I bought was the CODE keyboard that was created by Jeff Atwood and WASD Keyboards. I ordered the full-size version with Cherry MX brown switches.

This is a really great keyboard. It's very heavy (in a good way) so it doesn't move around on your desk, has backlit keys, and has DIP switches that allow you to change things like keyboard layout.

A month after I bought the CODE keyboard, I came across an Indiegogo project for something called the Ergodox EZ. Holy crap! This project was all about mass producing the Ergodox keyboard so you don't have to build it yourself and figure out how to solder switches! I immediatly backed the project. I also got the two additional perks (tilt/tent kit and the wing arm rests) that were released for it as well.

The only downside to this project was that it wasn't shipping for almost a year. But man was it worth the wait! It arrived the week before Christmas 2015.

keyboard

Due to the steep learning curve, it took me about a month to be able to type at the same speed as a standard keyboard. One fear I had from the beginning about the Ergodox was if I would be able to go back to a standard keyboard layout and type. The answer is yes. Although I do make some minor typing mistakes for the first 30 minutes of going back to a standard layout, it all comes back fairly quickly.

The Mouse

Like the keyboard, I was just using the standard Magic Mouse that came with my iMac. In mid-2015, I started looking for an ergonomic mouse and came across the Ankar Wireless Ergonomic mouse.

mouse_01

I've used this mouse for 2 years now and it's worked pretty well. One annoyance with it is that it has a high profile due to it being more vertical, so I tend to bump into it and knock it across my desk when I'm reaching for it.

I recently got the new Logitech MX Ergo Plus trackball mouse. Now, I hadn't touched a trackball mouse since being at a friend's house in 1993, but I figured I would give it a try.

mouse_02

Overall, I'm enjoying it, but every once in a while, the pointer starts stuttering for a minute and I have to wait it out. Not really sure what's happening, but it's not been bad enough to stop using it... yet.

Everything Else

Here are some more things that I have on my desk that I've enjoyed:

Future Wants

Work bought me a mesh chair in 2011 that has been amazing. It was around $400 at Office Depot and is rated for 6 hours a day. While it's been great, I would like to get something a little nicer.

The HermanMiller Aeron chairs look fantastic, but they are pretty pricey at just over $1,000 for a fully furnished chair. I've heard that the best way to get these is to find an office that's shutting down and get them for the cheap.

This summer, my work gave me two 22" Dell monitors to use. As much as I'm thankful for free monitors, I would really love to get 4K monitors. There is a 27" Dell 4K monitor for a little over $500 right now, but that makes it a little expensive for two. Soon...

The End Result

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In the end, I'm more than happy with my current home office. I can work 8-10 hours a day and not feel like crap due to my working area.

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