Like a lot of us in IT, I have been working from home(WFH) for the last one year. My office was gracious enough to allocate some budget so that employees can get things needed for their WFH setup. A callout here is that the budget was not enough to cover everything that you see here but covers most of it. Mainly because some of these things have been iterated on, for example I had bought a wireless mouse and keyboard with a usb dongle, but that didn’t work or slow when my phone or iPad was close to it. It was becoming a serious issue, so I bought a wired mouse and keyboard, the wires made the table messy, so finally I landed on a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard and finally I feel like it works perfectly well.
This is how my WFH setup looks:
Let me talk about each of these items with links and costs so that you don’t have to buy 3 mouse to get to the right one. I consider these to be investments because it helps me do my job better.
1. Lenovo web cam
My primary monitor is the Lenovo one, which does not have a camera. The problem was that, with the camera on my Macbook, when I look at the Lenovo monitor while addressing the meeting room, for the attendees, it feels like I’m looking somewhere else and when I am listening to someone it might look like I’m looking somewhere else.
Additionally, given the number of meetings we attend during a day, I wanted to get a good cam (not too costly) that has a little more clarity than the mac cam.
One callout: it does not have 4x zoom as advertised!
Amazon link – https://amzn.to/3xcJscu
2. Lenovo monitor
Macbook monitors are good, but they are not big enough, especially if you want to be staring at the screen the whole day. It is good to have a bigger screen when one has to write or design or even read. This is 27″ monitor and does it’s job well.
Cost: 25K (now it is 20K)
Amazon link – https://amzn.to/3jUlI9t
3. Macbook Pro
I did not purchase this, office sent me this one, so I am not going to talk about this.
4. USB type-C Hub
This is a must-have if have the above mentioned Mac. Mac has only 4 USB-C ports and that is never enough. I bought this one and recommend it as it looks neat and has not caused any problems.
Amazon link – https://amzn.to/3hvdIJ3
5. Sony Bluetooth headphone
Before talking about the headphones, I want to talk about Bluetooth, as a lot of devices connect through Bluetooth. Love bluetooth devices as they are less messy (no wires) and they do not interfere with other devices as opposed to the ones with USB dongles. These were very problematic, especially if I had my phone or ipad in the same table as these devices.
This headphones is one of the best purchases for me, love the sound quality and noise cancellation. I must confess I’m not an audiophile and the noise cancellation on this one is not as good as the more expensive Sony models but this is good enough for me to take meetings from my room (not an aeroplane). I also use these when I’m watching a movie or listening to music while writing out those long documents. The range is wonderful, if I have to get out of the room to get water from the kitchen, it continues to work. The battery is also really good, it offers close to 15 hours of battery backup, which is good enough (last close to three days).
Amazon link – https://amzn.to/2TrDZA8
6. Logitech Bluetooth Mouse
I have tried three other mouse before settling on this one, so you can take my word for it, this one is really good for the price point.
Amazon link – https://amzn.to/3hegT8U
7. Logitech Bluetooth keyboard
I have tried multiple keyboards, this one is definitely great. Easy Bluetooth connection and can connect up to 3 different devices (ipad, iphone, another mac) but I just connect to my office Mac now. The keys are soft, so doesn’t make a loud noise when you are aggressively assigning action items to team members or writing why delivery date is moved. The keyboard does look small, but believe me, it is perfect even for my big hands.
Amazon link – https://amzn.to/3hfFBpF
8. iPad air
Super helpful if you want to quickly scribble meeting notes and not be scared of losing them. I also tend to move things that I need to read to my ipad, so I can read it in my free time and away from my desk.
Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/3yqrZxB (mine is 3rd generation that is not available now)
Given that I attend a minimum of 6 meetings a day, it made sense to get a good mic, where I don’t have to loud to make a point and don’t have to repeat myself to make it more clear. I can vouch that this mic has been super helpful to me and to my audience as well.
Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/3xn3jpG
10. Ikea desk lamp
This one is a no-brainer. Lighting is key if you choose to or required to keep the camera on during meetings.
11. My Table
I have a sit/stand desk which I got from Ikea. Actually the frame I got from Ikea, but the table top I got from another vendor.
My recommendation is to get a wide and deep table top, I have a 4ft x 2.5 ft, which gives me enough space to keep all the things and deep enough that I am not too close to the big monitor.
We are going to be sitting for most of the work hours, as well invest in something good that doesn’t hurt your back in the long run, that was my reasoning to buy this chair and I absolutely love it.
Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/3kpAJjO
Oh, that blue thing under the Mac 🙂
That is a plastic basket that I keep the Mac on for two reasons:
- It gives the height so the monitor is almost at my eye level
- It seems to increase the cooling surface area of the Mac. I have felt that when the Mac is placed this way, it doesn’t heat up as much and the fan noise is hardly there. 🙂