Working from home in lockdown | Is your setup ready?
Many people who usually work in the office are now able to work from home. Even though you are lucky, it may not be as easy as you thought. Is your home setup really ready for many hours of working in lockdown?
You have probably seen many beautiful setups like the one above this intro before. As pretty as they may seem, try to create the setup that actually works for you and fits your needs (and sizes).
Not working from home and not knowing what to do? Check out this article about all the opportunities this lockdown could bring for you.
PC or laptop setup, or both?
For a long time a PC was meant for working or gaming at home and a laptop for work on the road or at clients. But with the laptops available these days this doesn’t have to be the case.
There are many powerful laptops that can do (almost) everything a strong PC can. Obviously there are limits, but your choice doesn’t necessarily have to be about this anymore. If you want a laptop where you can work and play games on, you can. If you want a laptop you want to do some heavy development or editing on, you can. Power does not come without flexibility anymore.
Of course, you can also go for a solid PC and get a cheaper laptop on the side for your emails and lighter work.
Ah yes, screens. All forms, sizes, angles. From 50″ wide curved screens to slim vertical screens. If you can imagine it, it’s there.
Vertical monitors can be very useful to put stream chats, chats with colleagues, email conversations, music or other side stuff on that doesn’t use much space.
For development or other testing purposes, don’t forget you can also use a tablet or smartphone as an extra screen. Just get yourself a simple standard and you are ready to go.
Keep in mind though, is the one you want actually what’s best for you? Does it fit in your setup? Does it have the right height to match your eyes? How does the resolution compare to your laptop screen or other screen(s)? For the best experience, make sure it ticks all boxes.
It can really be tough to pick the right chair. Like with every other item we discussed so far, there is just so much choice!
If you only have to spend a couple of hours behind your desk an Ikea chair will probably do. But if you’re going to work 20+ hours per week you should have a more than decent chair. Your chair really is the basis to prevent any type of injury behind your desk (in combination with the rest of your setup of course).
Now, there are many types of ergonomic office chairs out there, from cheap (AmazonBasics) to more expensive (Herman Miller). A quick Google search will serve you all the rest in between. I would like to point out that you do not have to limit your search at office chairs. There are many gaming chairs which suit well for long hour sessions of work. And yes, many gaming chairs really have ‘that look’ with striking red and blue colors. But you can find some solid and neat chairs as well. Examples: SecretLab and Noblechairs.
Keyboard & mouse
Don’t choose looks over purpose also applies to this topic. Your hands work with these tools all day. Make sure they assist the position of your wrists.
Keeping that in mind let’s check out some options.
When you want to go mechanical you have loads of options. Mechanical keyboards come with different switches. Some make more noise than others and some have a very evident ‘click’ sound. If you want them to be a bit more quiet go for the red switches. Again I will give you two extremes as examples. You have the Steelseries Apex Pro, fully equipped with everything you can think of really. Crazy color schemes, adjustable reaction times, OLED Smart Display. You will probably only get this when able to spend $200,- plus.
If you are not willing to spend that much on a good mechanical keyboard but still want a sleek look and some fancy light effects I can recommend the Kychron. Great reaction time and a good feel when hitting the keys, several light options and a good look starting from $69,-.
Of course if you don’t prefer a mechanical keyboard you can get any keyboard from your closest hardware dealer. Keep typing experience, ergonomics and durability in mind though.
Two ergonomic options you can go for are the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Mouse and the Trust Vero Ergonomic Mouse. Both are not expensive and good when really looking for an ergonomic mouse. Looking for a more all round mouse? The Logitech MX Master is your best option.
Of course accessories are not necessary, but they can make your home working experience a bit better. And besides that, they can also play a big part in ergonomics! Think about:
- A palm rest for your keyboard
- A standard for your laptop to get it on the same height as your monitors.
Make sure to get it on the right height so you don’t have to look down too much.
- A standard for your monitors. Again with the eye on ergonomics.
- Cable management panels to add some rest to the looks of your desk.