I joined Stack Overflow in 2016 as a remote employee. In the 15 years before that, though, I worked in the offices of my various employers. I spent the last five of those years at a windowless cubicle. When I went remote a few years ago, I set up my first proper home office. I touched upon that here, but I’ve since moved houses and upgraded my home office.
It’s time for an update! Here’s my current home office.
Location in house
I’m a home-body and like being around my wife and kids, so I opted for a home office instead of a co-working space. The room I work from is my dedicated office, which IMO is really important because it helps maintain the line between personal and professional time.
My office is located right off the front door and near the kitchen. I was initially worried about having my office in a high traffic area, especially since the doors are glass, but it turned out to be a non-issue. The house is big enough that I’m not on top of anyone else and I can close the door when I need privacy. My family usually honors the open/closed door policy, though there are exceptions 👧.
Furniture and equipment
I have a standing desk, chair, and upright mouse which helps with my RSI and health in general. I change my standing vs. sitting position every hour or two throughout the day. The rest is fairly basic: A MacBook Pro with a couple external monitors and backup hard drive.
Protip: When everyone’s home and streaming Netflix and whatnot, my internet speed sometimes starts to lag. Video calls are a big part of my day and Fiber isn’t available in my area, so when WiFi isn’t fast enough I plug in an ethernet cable using this dongle.
My personal computer is in the same room. I keep my work life and personal life pretty well separated, so things like my music and personal email live exclusively on my personal computer but are still close by while I’m working.
I’m a soccer (or football, if you like) fan and collect scarves from places I visit. No, I’m not a supporter of all these clubs, but they make for great conversation starters in research sessions! I also like maps and have two giant ones hanging in my office, including this one of the United States where I traced the routes I took when I drove cross country and back:
My office doesn’t double as a lounge area, kids playroom, or spare bedroom. I don’t have things like a couch, a TV, or video games in here. This helps me set boundaries while working from home: when I’m in my office, I’m usually working.
Leaving the office
Rambunctious kids, house guests, cabin fever… sometimes I just need to get out of the house. I work outside my house once or twice a month. My go-to places are the local coffee shop and the library. The former offers great coffee and chatter and the latter offers lots of space and quiet. Both offer reliable WiFi. I’m deliberate with the kind of work I do since I don’t bring my large screens with me (can you imagine if I did 😂).
So that’s where I work from as a remote worker at Stack Overflow. I spend ~50 hours a week in my home office, so I put a lot of thought into its design. The room is big enough, I have a window, and I have everything I need without too many distractions.
Also published at https://medium.com/@tedgoas/my-new-home-office-bc94476c5092