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Your Office Set Up Can Change Your Work Life

Virtual Working

The desk. If my basic math calculations are correct, this is a place you may call home for upwards of 950 hours each year. It can be a place of peace or, for far too many, absolute chaos. When you’re in an office, most desk setups are standard: One or two monitors, a computer, a standard-size desk, and a few token belongings to personalize the space. However, when you work from home, the sky is the limit for your desk setup.

At Interaction Associates (IA), we’ve been a 100% remote company for over two years. Our team is spread all across the United States and each of us has our own VERY custom take on the perfect office setup.

We know that many of you are working from home now and may have found that your office setup is hindering your productivity. What follows below is a tour of our own home office setups and explain how they help us stay productive, focused, and successful in a remote environment. You may note some useful items or ideas to implement in your own setup.

 

desk.jake

Jake Blocker, Creative Marketing Manager

My home office space is set up to fit perfectly in a corner of my Denver studio. The desk itself is a door from The Home Depot that I stained and placed on a standing desk base. The monitors are both 27-inch screens which are a huge help in my day-to-day. I topped it all off with Bose speakers since I’m playing music all day long. Here are a few points of interest on my setup that keep me productive:

White Board
The white board was also bought at The Home Depot for a few bucks, and I had them cut it in half to fit in my space. I use it and sticky notes to keep track of current and upcoming projects. It’s a great visual space where I can quickly glance to find out what I need to be working on.

Notepad
I’m in the habit of taking quick notes during calls or jotting down messages as they come in. This information isn’t immediately actionable, but I’ll often tackle it later in the day. The notepad helps me keep track of small tasks that may arise, but I also use it to write out ideas. In general, I find it easier to recall things I write down (and studies back me up on this).

A Cat
My cat hates just about everything except food, naps, and me. Part of his daily routine is spending the afternoon lounging on my desk sleeping or monitoring the neighborhood activity. For me, having my cat as a co-worker is one of the great benefits of working from home.

 

desk_eve

Eve Keller, Director of Project Management

My desk setup is in my basement in Indianapolis. It’s progressed through years of working from home into what it is today. I added a standing desk due to a badly pinched nerve in my neck (beware: leaning on your chair arm and looking sideways at a camera all day has adverse effects). While I have a fancy chair, I prefer the standing desk with a comfort mat under my feet. I also alternate to sitting on a stool to give my legs and feet a break.

In order to stay hydrated, I use a Bluetooth Thermos that tracks my water intake. I also keep a mini-fridge at my desk for any quick drinks or snacks.

I like to keep various items at my desk, some fun/productive items and others that are more personal. One tip I have if you are on a lot of video calls is to keep a small mirror nearby so you can do a quick check before, especially for those more spontaneous calls.

A few of the personal items I like to keep at my desk include a stress rock from Camp Atterbury and a paper doll from Korea to remind me of my military father. I have photos of my family and the Dry Tortugas in Florida as well as a rock painted by my wife.

Finally, I keep a few sticky notes on my monitor to advise me to Smile, Agree, and Listen. It is a nice reminder before I begin meetings.


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desk_chris

Chris Williams, Director of Operations

I utilize two 22-inch BenQ Monitors and a dual screen monitor stand that allows for great adjustability and frees up valuable desk space. Having two large monitors is so useful for my productivity.

The notebook I keep next to me is a Leuchtturm1917 Bullet Journal that a co-worker gifted me. This is my primary organization and planning tool. Every task I have to do is documented in this notebook.

In front of me at all times is a picture of my daughter that reminds me of why I work each day, and it always brings a smile to my face. I’m a big believer in setting yourself up for optimal success. For me, that means I’ve positioned my desk next to a window and invested in a Herman Miller desk chair.

 

desk_nina

Nina Fojaco-Reed, Director, Client Solutions

We have a small apartment in San Francisco, so everything needs to be put away by the end of the day. I have a large monitor which I set up on a box to raise above my laptop. I always have a snack, water, my calendar (old school Moleskine), and my ever-present notebook nearby.

desk_nina_cat

The chair I sit in is a 1950s blue sparkle beauty shop chair on wheels that I found on the street near my apartment and

repurposed as an office chair. It’s SUPER comfy.

My office area is set up near the windows so I can give my eyes occasional breaks from my screen. And of course, I have my co-worker cat who loves to visit me any time I’m on a video conference

 

 

desk_michelle

Michelle Robb, HR Manager

I split my time between my kitchen counter, which is where I land on certain days, and my office/yoga space, which is a mile from my home. It’s nice and quiet here, with a row of windows that bring in lots of sun and great energy. My dog Lucy also joins me on occasion.


Whether you’re set up at a kitchen counter, a basement, a corner of a studio apartment, or even a yoga studio, your at-home office setup should allow you to stay focused and productive. For some, that may mean large monitors or a nice notebook. For others, it’s simply having a fur friend close by.

A great home office setup may be key to your own productivity, but it won’t always help you when you’re not able to collaborate with co-workers effectively. This is especially true when working from a distance. To facilitate and build some essential skills, consider checking out some of our virtual training programs that are designed to help your team work better together, no matter where you are. For a limited time, receive 20% off our Essential Skills for Virtual Collaboration.

About Jake Blocker

Jake Blocker creates and executes marketing initiatives for Interaction Associates (IA). He’s involved from initial ideation to the creative development and the analysis of the results. If you were to merge the left and right brain into a job, you would have Jake’s role at IA.