I’d like to think I was a pro in the work from home field (if it was a field). I’ve been doing it since 2013 and even before that I was averse to any office environment. All the distractions, the pointless conversation in the name of “team building,” and the discomfort of every aspect of it from lunch to bathroom breaks.
When I found my current position working from home as a Senior Instructional Designer in the IT department of DaVita it was a dream come true. I had to make very few trips to the office and since the pandemic that has been and will continue to be even fewer if ever.
I’ve gone through a lot of changes while working at home from an industrial looking, unpleasant glass and metal desk that was very small all the way to my current deluxe situations which I’ll get to later.
If you have the basics such as a quiet place to work (preferably a dedicated office) and a decent computer, there’s one part of working from home that is essential to not skimp on.
Before I get to that, where did I start off working from home?
The Early Days Of Working From Home
When I started working from home my chair carried over from my old desk but I upgrade my desk to something bit larger. My chair didn’t have wheels, it was a cheap faux leather chair that I had to purchase a gel pillow to make remotely comfortable.
I was still fixed at the desk sitting most of the day with a clutter of a printer to the right of me (it was an L shaped desk) and two giant monitors in front of me (yuck). A few years into working from I was fortunate enough to have my second monitor die on me. This was a blessing in disguise. I really don’t need two giant monitors in front of me, distracting me even more.
So, that was the beginning of improving my working from home situations little by little. I first started with a standing desk converter. It was pretty bad but a somewhat affordable way to make my desk more versatile.
That’s cool. I could now very my day by standing and sitting. The one problem is that the standing converters are tough to move up and down. They’re hydraulic assisted but that just doesn’t cut it.
I had purchased the Stand Steady Flexpro Air 32″ for my desk. The depth of it was a lot deeper than my cheap glass desk so it hung off quite a bit and also moved around whenever I lifted it.
What a pain!
I ended up not wanting to stand much because it was so difficult to make it go up and down.
I needed a big improvement and didn’t know I was missing out until I discovered the most important part of working from home. I’m going to tell you about this big secret next.
The Most Important Part Of Working From Home
I discovered after much trial and error that it isn’t the chair, computer, or what you wear that’s most important for successfully working from home.
It’s all about the desk!
Once I made the conversion to a REAL standing/sitting desk I could breath. My workspace is so much cleaner (glass sucks) and organized. Not only that but it couldn’t be easier to switch from sitting to standing.
I got the idea that I needed something better when I was watching “One Day At Disney” with my daughter on Disney+. One of the interviewees was an animator who so casually walked into his office, pressed a button to make the desk lower as he proceeded to grab his chair and wheel up to his desk.
How cool is that!?
I thought it was pretty cool and it dwelled on my mind for months after that. During the holiday season of 2020 I ran across a news article about Fully who makes pretty awesome office furniture of all types. One of the things they make is the Jarvis standing desk and it was one sale.
So, I went to their website and customized my ideal desk within a reasonable price and the size I needed.
The desk is the Fully Jarvis 48″ standing desk with a bamboo top and black stand and brackets (very slick).
Check mine out in action…
I sped it up a bit so you don’t have to wait but you get the idea.
I have it programmed with three positions and have a fourth available. My postings are
- Recording (all the way to the top!)
The surface area of the 46″ version is plenty enough for me and of course my plant too which is essential to work from home sanity. I’m pretty lucky I have my entire family at home too, though, so I don’t get very lonely.
Ease Of Standing
Now I can hit a button on the touch screen (well not literally hit it! Don’t want to break the desk) and boom, the desk is moving for me. I can go from sitting to recording in a matter of seconds with no effort.
I just push my chair back a bit and stand up. It’s that simple. I’ll go over some of my recording setup too because as an Instructional Designer I have to be very versatile in my work.
I’m the designer, VoiceOver talent, and more. Everything else on my desk is nice but they’re just extras. The desk itself, that I discovered is the most important part to comfortably and pleasantly working from home.
Notice I have two layers of working? There’s room for my monitor, work Windows laptop, and my MacBook Pro too. Room for plenty and my plant for some life too and of course the glowing moon for mood.
In case you’re wondering, the plant is an Aralia Elegantissima (aka False Aralia) which is a pretty cool indoor plant that’s easy to take care of.