A desk follow-up…

It’s a boring post of sorts, but trust me I have a few nice ones coming up!

Not that long ago, I posted a really lengthy piece detailing how I transformed my WFH space over the last 6+ months. New desk, new chair, new layout…and still tweaking.

So, when I put the desk together in September, I expected to take a few weeks to get used to things, and to adjust as required. That happens any time you make use of a new space, no biggie.

Well, if you follow me anywhere, you know that my October and November were a mess. Basically, right after I finished getting my desk done…I was not able to make use of it for like, seven weeks.

Finally got to work regularly on it/with it since late November, and here’s some updates.

-I had previously debated 1 monitor or 2. I went with 2, buying a second monitor to go along with an existing 27 inch Dell I already had. Due to my space constraints, the plan was one 27 inch (curved) in landscape, the other 27 in portrait. It works…in theory.

In practice? It’s so-so.

I’ve done dual monitors before, but always matching in either a side by side or top/bottom configuration.

With this one, it’s not bad, but I find myself favoring one much more than the other. I have a webcam positioned between the screens, but I’ve liked that less than I expected too. Here’s why…

When you do that, and you look at the camera, you can’t see much on either screen. And if you look at either screen, you aren’t looking directly at the screen.

To get around that, I actually bought a gooseneck clamp gizmo, to mount my iPad to the desk and position it behind the camera. Use the iPad as another screen, with the video conference on that small screen, to help with eye contact.

Unsurprisingly, I was not thrilled with that.

My fix, which I ended up using on a recent webinar? I took the camera off of it’s desk mount and placed it on a cheap tripod, in front of my primary monitor. Yes, the camera was in front of my screen and blocking things…but I was also making good eye contact, and it worked well.

So…what now?

Well, long term, I have decided to swap the 2 screens for one. That one will be something between a 34 and a 38, and I expect I will use that better than the existing config. One I have not worked out is the camera mount-I like something permanent, but I have not found something like my mic mounts that allow me to easily move the camera around, keeping it stable too. That search continues ๐Ÿ™‚

Speaking of mic, I did upgrade to a new Shure, that is supposed to not pick up much background noise. My office is in my basement, so I have the occasional washer/dryer/running child in the background. Anything I can do to pick up less noise, the better. I paired it with a Blue Compass mic stand, and I haven’t thought about it since. A worthy investment, if I do say so.

What next? Well…I got a standing desk…but there’s something to be done relative to the seating.

I got a new chair in March. It was nice, I liked it, When I re-configured my office area and changed desks/layouts, I did kind of limit my chair space. It was fine though, I legitimately haven’t sat down too much since getting the standing desk.

Here lies the challenge. Or, several. It’s December in New York, and I work in a finished basement. Meaning it can get chilly. I am fine layering if I don’t want to crank the heat up too much…but now that I am standing, I get cold feet. On top of that, I have found myself sometimes wanting to sit/lean, but the new chair does not get high enough…so here’s what I am trying out, compared to what I’ve been doing.

-I tend to lean against my armoire. Not bad, it works, but not ideal and I don’t want to ruin furniture.

So I bought a stool. I think it’s termed a leaning stool, but the idea is I can sit or lean, without lowering the height of my desk, if I want to take a break, I should have it together next week, will keep you posted.

On the cold feet, and comfort, I purchased a standing mat…and a fuzzy area rug. I did get a balance board with the desk, and while I have used it, I know I don’t always want to wobble and wiggle. So, the mat and rug should let me stand more comfortably on my feet, while also not being in contact with the cold tile floor.

On top of that, I splurged on a cheap and tiny space heater from Amazon. Thinking there is that I can keep my immediate area warm enough when needed, without heating up the whole basement.

So, I half expect to return the stool, but that is a TBD. The screens situation will be squared away in 2021, unless someone is looking to donate one or sponsor one for me ๐Ÿ™‚

The short and sweet recap? I’d recommend getting the biggest monitor you think you want, rather than some short term stop gaps (live and learn). And, otherwise, plan on making adjustments along the way, constantly perhaps. I am sure that I will make changes again in a month or two, but there are reasons for that…and a future blog post to cover that too ๐Ÿ™‚


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