The growing importance of an “at home office” – desk and chair

The continuing saga of the “at home office”.  I find myself sitting in my home office for days on end.  My commute has become a 180 degree turn in my chair.  My home desk on one side. My work desk on the other.  The differences between the spaces is astounding.  The physical space is the same, but the feeling is not.

My home space has a plain, deep iKea desk. 34″ monitor, wireless keyboard and trackpad, chargers for my phone or devices, mac mini, external storage array for all my projects.  Nothing fancy and everything I need to get my stuff done.  Shelves with different projects on them as well as my favorite photos of my family.  It’s a comfortable space and I enjoy most days sitting there while writing, browsing, or playing a game.

My work space is an inexpensive Target desk that is narrow.  Barely holds a 24″ monitor, keyboard, mouse, my work laptop and an iPad.  Everything touches as well as my mouse pad hangs over the edge of the desk.   It’s was a quick setup using whatever I had laying around or could repurpose for a work from home space.  Utilitarian, cramped, and a bare minimum for me to accomplish as much as I can while working from home.

As this pandemic stretches on, I find myself wanting more from the work space.  Not enough to disassemble my home space for parts or enough to want to spend $$$ on a better space for work, because working from home is not permanent….but how long will this go on?  Is it time for me to rethink my work space and what would that look like?

The iKea top is the perfect size for a desk, but it wobbles.  Definitely something more stable.  I have a 36″ mat, similar to a mouse pad that keeps my keyboard, mouse (trackpad), and anything else I lay on from sliding so that is a need.  Phone charging station close at hand. 2 monitors, 3 if you count the laptop. Wireless keyboard and mouse, cables take up valuable space and are a nuisance.

Now for the most import part….the chair. There is a reason office chairs can cost $1000 dollars, you spend a lot of time there. The more comfortable and cool you are, the longer you sit to get work done. Many chairs start off fine, but in no time it’s like sitting on bolts. Many new mesh designs allow for air flow, but so many lack in the butt padding. There isn’t good answer here. You have to settle for something no matter what, at least that is how I feel. I have yet to find a good chair that fits my budget. Maybe there are some extra padding pieces I can buy that don’t remind me of sitting on a phonebook as a kid or a hemorrhoid cushion.

My closing thought and advice is this, keep it simple. Make it comfortable. Working from home is going to change the game in many ways. My hope is the office ideas, furnishings, and technology evolve too.

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