— Remote work — 2 min read
Millions of folks around the world were forced into working from home in 2020, due to the global pandemic. For many, this was an opportunity to dip their toe in the remote working waters for the first time. That being said, there was a rush to buy all the fixings to comfortably work in this new reality. Microphones (and especially webcams) were seeing price hikes, while there were shortages of office chairs and desktop monitors. It made a rough time to get started.
Now that the dust has settled, many items are back to their regular availability and relatively sane pricing. With that, I thought I'd make a guide to a budget setup that'll keep you comfortable working from home well after we've had our vaccines.
I have to admit, this is my absolute favorite find. While walking through Home Depot one night, I happened upon a sit/stand "workbench" with a solid butcher block top, wheels, and steel base. It has a 300 lbs weight capacity! As soon as I saw the price I bought it. What a steal!
Chairs can be a touchy subject and you may not want to go budget on your chair. If that's the case, you might consider Laura Davidson (for a middle tier) and Herman Miller if you want the best. However, you may not have $400 to blow on a chair. If that's the case, this is an excellent choice to pair with the above desk. Note: this is drafting height because the Husky doesn't go quite low enough for a normal height chair.
Depending on your needs, 28" is just enough monitor to complete work that requires side-by-side windows. You'll be all the more helped by the 4K resolution. BenQ makes great monitors for a very reasonable price. If you want to spend more, I'd go for an LG 4K with a USB-C hookup.
You may prefer to use your laptop directly underneath your monitor and skip peripherals altogether, but if that's not your bag, Anker has an excellent keyboard and ergonomic mouse that just work.
This is probably one of the most popular webcams on the market. At 1080p, you'll look great in Zoom calls (much better than what is typically stock on a laptop) and can place the camera above your monitor so you don't have a side shot of your face.
To go along with solid video, you will likely want an upgrade over your built-in microphone. For quite cheap, you can grab a budget podcasting setup from Fifine. If you have more budget for audio, check out the classic Blue Yeti or splurge for the new MV7 from Shure.
With all these gadgets and likely limited ports on your laptop - you'll need a USB-C (presumably) hub. This one from Anker is excellent and has allowed me to connect everything with 1 cable. I'll repeat, 1 cable.