My home desk setup for a remote Software Engineer
When the world suddenly switched to work from home it was time for a mega desk upgrade. I’ve been working on perfecting this setup for a while so I thought I would share my journey so far.
While practical the ikea table tops are essentially made of corrigated structureal cardboard, so after a while this desktop started to bend in the middle, even with the extra table leg for support.
So as a replacement I opted for a solid kitchen worktop from B&Q. I wanted a nice light wood to brighten up the area so I opted for the GoodHome Kabsa Matt Rustic Wood worktop. On top of this I found the desk to be a little lowdown for my knees so I added some adjustable feet to the top of the IKEA drawers.
At this point I was happy with my setup, until I decided I spend way to much time at my desk in front of a screen to be sat down all day, especially while doing my dissertation. So I eventually caved and opted to convert to a standing desk, while still keeping the asthetic. In order to do this I bought the Flexispot Electric Standing Desk.
When I first started out I was working on the cheap! I actually managed to get my first iteration of the desk for £50! To work from home I managed to score a couple of cheap 1080p monitors off Facebook Marketplace.
However after a while the low resolution bothered me and I decided it was time for an upgrade, now I had a bit of cash in the bank! The LG 34" Ultrawide 1440p monitor was the perfect addition.
The only thing left that really bothered me was the stand. It came with this really ugly ‘U’ shaped stand that invaded a lot of desk space. So I hopped back onto Amazon and bought myself an ARCTIC Z1 monitor arm.
In addition to this I added some Govee Alexa LED Strip Lights to the back to help with the lighting in the room.
Okay, let’s talk small additions. Firstly I just needed a set of cheap speakers. I usually listen to music through my headphones so these were mainly for watching university lectures so cheap and cheerful was the goal, also useful for the Xbox occasionally, but again, headphones are the preference. I bought the Creative Pebble speakers on Amazon and I have no regrets! Good enough quality for me!
I had an old 3rd Gen Echo Dot which is handy for music and controlling the backlights.
I bought a cheap chair on Facebook Marketplace and it completely ruined my back. After looking around a bit I settled on the Boulis Master Series, which is super comfortable and has great back support.
I bought a Griffin Elevator Computer Laptop Stand so I could bring my laptop screen up next to the monitor, and I also bought a VAYDEER Double Verticle Laptop Stand to dock both my work machine and personal machine when I wanted to use the monitor only.
Mouse & Keyboard
Up until recently I have been using the Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad which have been excellent companions. One of the reasons I love the Magic Keyboard is that it is a TKL board. It’s small and easy to travel with. Again I love the form factor of the trackpad, it again is easy to travel with, but feels huge! Pro’s for opening up a lot of familiar apple gestures too. I just wish Apple did a space grey TKL magic keyboard.
I’ve now switched to using the MX Keys and the MX Master 3 mouse, it’s early days but I don’t think I’ll be looking back any time soon! At first I was hesitant about moving away from a TKL keyboard and towards fullsize, however after a few hours I barely notice. I recommend reading through this comparison by trings to get a further understanding of the differences!
Can’t write a desk setup guide without mentioning the main gear! For my personal machine I’m using a 15" 2018 MacBook Pro, an amazing machine that looks excellent and runs well for the tasks I need! As a developer it’s really handy to have a OS that is built on top of UNIX, so a MacBook makes the most sense for me! Plus I love OS X.
My work machine is a Dell XPS 13 2-in1 running Ubuntu. Ideal for soley using for development. I haven’t really had too much of a chance to use this machine so I’ll hold off on any opinions so far!
Okay, so this shopping list is pretty intense! A lot of the items on here I managed to get for a bargain on Facebook Marketplace so it’s probably a good idea to check for good quality used stuff before buying new! But ignoring all the items that I won’t be using going forward (highlighted in italics) to the total comes to £1544.93… Yikes… Wish I hadn’t totaled that up.
- IKEA: 2 x White Alex Drawer Units @ £110.0
- B&Q: GoodHome Kabsa Matt Rustic Wood Worktop @ £84.0
- Amazon: adjustable feet @ £12.85
- Amazon: Flexispot Electric Standing Desk @ £249.99
- Amazon: LG 34" Ultrawide 1440p @ £549.99
- Amazon: ARCTIC Z1 monitor arm @ 27.2
- Amazon: Govee Alexa LED Strip Lights @ £23.99
- Amazon: Creative Pebble @ £24.99
- Amazon: 3rd Gen Echo Dot @ £24.99
- Boulies: Boulis Master Series @ £259.99
- Amazon: Griffin Elevator Computer Laptop Stand @ £39.95
- Amazon: VAYDEER Double Verticle Laptop Stand @ £26.99
- John Lewis: Magic Keyboard @ £99.0
- John Lewis: Magic Trackpad @ £109.0
- Currys: MX Keys @ £79.99
- Currys: MX Master 3 @ £79.99