I work from home these days. Therefore it’s important that I have a decent desk setup. My previous setup was pretty crappy, but I only worked from home part-time. I’ve been using a standing desk at home, and wanted to move to a sit/stand model for full-time use. Here’s what I did.
Desk & Monitor Arrangement
I bought the Cubit Highrise desk, with a 1200mm x 700mm surface. This is a New Zealand-made manual height-adjustable desk. The adjustable legs allow for the height to be set anywhere between 660 and 1060mm. I paid $660NZD including shipping, from Total Office. That was the best deal at the time.
I added a Fleximounts L02 monitor stand. This is a desk-mounted monitor stand, with two gas spring arms. One arm has a tray for my MBPr laptop, the other has an LG IPS236 23″ monitor. It cost me $134USD including shipping. It’s in USD because I picked it up on one of my recent trips to San Jose.
I also use a wireless Apple keyboard and an Apple Magic Trackpad.
How’s it working out?
I’ve been very happy. My previous setup was a crappy desk with a platform added to get it to standing height. That was OK, but it meant I couldn’t sit down. That’s fine in the morning, but by the afternoon I really needed to spend some time sitting down. It was getting a bit hard on my feet. I may have been able to get used to it, especially if I added an anti-fatigue mat, and wore shoes more regularly (I don’t usually bother with them at home).
I’m switching from sitting to standing around every 90-120 minutes. That seems to work well for me. Sometimes I’ll switch more frequently. The manual setup takes about 100 turns to switch position, so it’s easy to turn, but it is a point of friction when it comes to “should I change now?”
My previous setup didn’t allow me to use both monitor & laptop. This setup gives me more screen real estate. Lifting the monitor & laptop off the desk also gives me more physical real estate to spread out notes and coffee cups. I can also get the monitor to the height I need. I used to use a couple of standard monitor height adjusting devices (i.e. phone books & paper reams) but it wasn’t quite the right height. Now it is.
Not much. The only issue I’ve noticed is that if I’m resting my palms on the desk when typing I get a bit of wobble coming through the monitor. I think I might be able to reduce this a little by fiddling with the adjustor screws underneath the desk. Part of the problem is that the carpet is just a little soft, allowing for some movement. That gets amplified at the end of the monitor arm.
I also need to sort out my chair. I have a basic office chair, but could do with something a little better. I’ll probably get a Spectrum 3. I’ve seen refurbished ones for around $100NZD.
What would I do differently?
If I was setting up again, I would spend the extra $100NZD and buy the electric version of the desk. I believe I would change positions more often. It also comes in 600mm-deep version, which would suit my small office space better.
I might also go for a cheaper monitor stand that did not have gas springs – e.g. something like this. I’m the only one using this setup, and I don’t need to change the heights when I change the desk, so the gas arms are overkill. Plus when I remove my laptop the arm lifts up (as it’s in balance with the laptop weight). This usually means a bit of adjustment is needed when I put the laptop back, as it gets bumped around when I lift out the laptop.
Overall I’m pleased with how it’s worked out.