We are going on two years of working from home. While the initial scramble for office supplies was rather annoying to deal with, it’s time to invest into your workspace at home a little more. Yes, people are starting to go back into the office, but there is a weird hybrid system going on right now that I don’t see ending any time soon. So here are a few desk upgrades you might want to consider. (Keep in mind some of these are cheap, and some are an investment. Of course, you don’t need any of these things, but if you have some extra cash laying around and want to make your workspace better, then this list is for you.)
Cable management is by far the cheapest desk upgrade you can invest in, but it is probably the most time-consuming. I don’t know about you, but I need my desk space to be clean and clutter-free. Otherwise, I’m distracted or disoriented and can’t focus on my work. And there is nothing that makes your desk feel more cluttered than a bunch of cables laying and scattered everywhere. Good cable management makes a world of difference. I could write a whole how-to-guide on cable management, but I won’t because there are already so many out there. For example, here’s one from voltcave. There are so many more out there. If you need more in-depth guides, check out Reddit.
The single greatest investment for your desk setup is monitor arms, especially if you have multiple monitors. Having your monitor sit on your desk with a stand takes up way more space than you think and makes the space look cluttered as well. They have monitor arms for all sorts of setups and monitor counts. I currently rock three monitors, and without my monitor arms, my desk space would be havoc.
I don’t know about you, but I get hot and cold throughout my day. Of course, it doesn’t help that I don’t believe in turning on the heater during winter. (Heaters are a foreign concept to this Florida boy.) So when I get cold, I throw on a hoodie, but when I get hot, I turn on my desk fan. It’s a small but powerful fan clipped to the underside of my desk that has saved me from sweating through my shirts while I work. It came in clutch during those 100 plus degree days last summer.
I have a weird obsession with mechanical keyboards. We all got into weird hobbies during the pandemic, which is one of mine. I am currently in possession of five mechanical keyboards, three of which I have built from scratch. I use my keyboard all day, every day, as do you, so investing in a comfortable keyboard that fits your needs will make a world of difference. Plus, it’s a fun way to express a bit of your personality into your setup. I’m currently rocking a Ducky One 2 Mini Pure White RGB because, unlike most, I do not feen function keys or a number pad, so I can work with a much smaller keyboard that frees up space on my desk. Figure out what size keyboard you need, and then go shopping. There are plenty of options out there for you to look through and peruse.
I hate wired mice, but I hate constantly charging a wireless mouse. Or worse yet, constantly changing out the batteries. (Apple by far has the worst designed wireless mouse. You can’t use it while it’s charging.) I am a huge fan of the Logitech G Pro Wireless Gaming Mouse and Charging Pad. And yes, they are rather expensive together, but the mouse without the charging system is great. I bought mine on sale and got them for 40%, which saved me more money, so if you are looking for an upgrade, it doesn’t hurt to be a little patient and wait for deals.
I started this pandemic in a $30 office chair from Target then upgraded to one of the GTRacing gaming chairs. Still, after a while, they both lost most of their support and cushion. So, a few months ago, I bought a Mavic chair. I dropped more money on a chair than I would like to admit, but it has been worth every penny. I sit at my desk for so long between work and gaming that I need the lumbar support. I love this chair, and I know there are so many like it out there on the market.
All I can say is do your research, figure out your budget/price point, and do yourself a favor. I’m too young to have back issues, and my new chair has helped immensely. (Also, the chair I bought is relatively cheap compared to some of the crazy prices out there. I’m looking at you, Herman Miller Embody Chair, which has a starting price of $2,165.)
The pandemic started, and you went out and got a monitor. Probably something cheap to get by because we all thought this would end sooner rather than later. And the monitor probably still works just fine, and that’s not an issue, but if you have the money, you should think about buying a second monitor. Not being limited to one screen or tab at a time helps me work more efficiently when researching, writing, editing, or whatever other excuses I can think of to justify my second and third monitors. (The third one is mainly for sports, but don’t tell my boss that. And if you’re reading this, no, you’re not.)
Extra monitors are a luxury of convenience and nothing more. You don’t need them, but they make your setup look cool and make working a little easier. It’s like going from a studio apartment to a one-bedroom. You didn’t need the extra room, but it’s nice.
I bought the cheapest and most flimsy desk from Walmart at the start of the pandemic. I think a collapsible picnic table would have been sturdier. And then, a year ago, I bit the bullet and bought a bigger and nicer desk. It’s not as big as I would like it to be, but my apartment is small, so I make do. There is no better desk upgrade than the desk itself.
The best tool for desk shopping is Ikea’s Desk Planner. Unfortunately, for most of the pandemic, the Ikea near me has been sold out of the parts I like but using the planner on their website let me figure out what sort of desk I want and what works best for me. A good desk is the foundation of your setup and can make your office space go from fugly to nice-looking in a heartbeat.
To Wrap it Up
Desk upgrades are not necessary, nor are they cheap most of the time, but we spend so much time glued to our desks that sometimes an upgrade or two is nice. Maybe you’re saving up already for an upgrade, or maybe you’ve never thought about it, but keep in mind that where you work affects how you focus and prepare for the work you are trying to do. You shouldn’t take out a small loan for your setup. Maybe all it needs is some cable management, but take pride in your space and make it look nice.