The working from home thread: tips and advice

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  • I'm looking for an office chair that doesn't look too officey but does have a full range of adjustability and isn't massive. Any suggestions, cheers?

  • Not sure it's what you want @aggi but to add to chair recommendations... the vast majority of people I see in my daily meetings all have the Ikea Marcus­ce-chair-vissle-dark-grey-30261152/

    Given it's £150 that's an absolute bargain.

    The remainder of people I see have Aerons. That's me too... but mine is almost 20 years old and still going strong so it's just the quality of a (distant) past investment coming through (£1k back in 2000/2001, 20 years of use, £50 per year. I did have to change the casters and replace the pellicle recently though so it's probably closer to £70 per year).

  • @aggi

    I had a marcus for a good few years, perfectly comfortable, eventually changed it as the leather arms started to peel, traded for a Ikea JÄRVFJÄLLET with arms, as it was available in nicer colours, it is equally as comfortable.

  • I have 2 Humanscale Freedom. One with headrest and one without.
    You can get the headrest free one for not too much money and its very comfortable and extremely serviceable.
    Better value second hand compared to the Herman Millers as they're not quite so sought after, but similar RRP.

  • Aeron

    There's a lot coming up on eBay at the moment as companies sell off office furniture and space either through bankruptcy or a change in their home working policy.

    Most are around the £250-350 price range which makes them a bargain.

    Tempted to pick one up over Christmas.


    This is what i have at the moment. I find it comfortable enough but I get thigh pain after a long day working.

  • I have had Ikea Lidkullen for a couple months. It's £65.­ctive-sit-stand-support-gunnared-dark-gr­ey-70445786/

    I like it but I've used a backless stool in the office for several years so used to that aspect. I tend to either sit on it (at various heights) or stand on my own two feet, I don't do the perching/leaning pose shown in the photos. I like that it's less obtrusive than a standard office chair and doesn't take up much space, although I did need to learn not to stub my toe on the feet (they stick out beyond the seat). I also like that you can wiggle around while sitting. The seat wobbles in a satisfying way.

  • How are you getting on with the wobble stool thing?

    I'm considering one for when I bit the bullet on the standing desk.

  • Cheers all. I think the Ikea ones and Aeron are a bit too officey but the Humanscale Freedom without headrest is a possibility.

  • I very much like my formway/knoll life chair.
    Got it s/h with new base and back for not very much at all.

  • How are you getting on with the wobble stool thing?

    Love/hate relationship. It really doesn't let you get away with slouching, but then if you just stand up when you realise you're slouching then it stops you messing up your back. Would be so easy to go back to slouching in a chair but I'm not giving in. I expect it is going to be much better for my posture/back in the long run.

    Also getting there with the cabling, still got a couple of shorter power cables to come to tidy up the final bit.

    Compare with:­s_before.jpg

  • doesn't let you get away with slouching

    That's what I'm aiming for too. Raising your monitor might help too - it makes you lift your head up, which pulls the rest of you up straight.

    I'm planning on an under-desk PC holder - although the case I'm aiming for is, frustratingly, a little too wide for most holders.

  • Humanscale Freedom

    I bought one of these years ago when I was working from home—plus ça change eh—and it has been excellent. It’s much easier to share with someone of a different physique than an Aeron with a gazillion adjustments.

    I moved my own Humanscale Liberty between a few offices for a long time too; a bit cheaper, and the mesh back blended in better with the corporate chairs. We had a Humanscale saddle chair in one place too, nice for “guest seating”. I bought some Kaiser + Kraft workshop stools for that purpose too.

  • My wife is a big fan of the Humanscale Freedom as well when she's using the big computer.
    Reclaimed my own leather headrest Freedom from my previous employer but a piece of it has mysteriously gone missing. Just ordered the spare part from Humanscale.

  • My girlfriend's response to it was "yuck" but I suspect she doesn't realise that there aren't any good looking office chairs out there.

  • Very intrigued by the Humanscale Ballo...

  • It's all about the Ray Wilkes Rollback

    Which I am so curious about as it was one of the earliest ergonomic chairs... the rollback being the lumbar support.

    Makes you realise how very dull and uniform office chairs are today.

  • I’m using a backapp stool since a while back. Takes some time to get used to but works wonders for back pain

    It’s certainly ugly though.

  • Does it always come with one armrest?

  • Sometimes it comes with none!

    But never two... don't be silly, that would be ridiculous.

  • Anyone have any recommendations on a 'random shit' drawer to bolt onto the underside of my desk?

  • Almost there. Heading over to the Keyboard thread for inspiration.

    (Also looking out for a suitable <£500 43" 4K monitor...)

  • My setup now looks like this.

    I've swung the mic arm out of the way so the keyboard and panels can be seen.

    But basically a lot of wood, plants, light, and space. Very little by way of cabling mess (given the unbelievable amount of cable there is here and the 12 power sockets in those two cable tidy boxes). The desktop on the left is the machine.

    The only really weird thing going on is the camera... it's on a tripod on the desk to get that behind monitor position. It's on a boom arm which then needs counter-weighting with the dumb bell weight. It works, I don't notice it... and the camera is rock solid and stable.

    So... what's in this picture?

    • An old NEC 27" monitor EA274WMi
    • A Sony A7rii on an old tripod with a cheap boom arm attachment... and a counter weight to keep it stable
    • SSL2 audio interface is the middle box under the monitor, provides microphone input and headphone (monitor) output - it also gives me a nice volume knob to use to adjust the volume of others during a meeting
    • Stream Deck is the thing on the right, and lets me control all lights and media without leaving the desk... this includes turning on lights behind me to make conference calls look good, or adjusting colour throughout the day manually if I don't like what Home Assistant is doing
    • Jabra 710 conference call speaker/mic is on the left... I use this in training sessions to hear things, the SSL2 and mic I use during 1:1s
    • Keyboard is a Filco
    • Lights are Elgato Key Light Air
    • Mic is a Shure SM7B - this goes into Reaper where I gate to remove background noise, equalise to remove more background noise, compress to de-ess, and then have a dynamic vocal rider to ensure my voice always comes across at a consistent volume
    • Headphones are ATH-R70x - high ohm so they need the SSL2 to drive them
    • There's a CalDigit TS3+ dock for when I have a MacBook
    • There's a Lindy USB switch that allows both the Windows PC and a MBP or any other device to share every device on my desk with a single click
    • There are some old Monitor Audio floorstanding speakers... this goes to the Arcam amp on the left, which goes to the DAC on top and a Chromecast Audio, which I use to play music from Plex in the other room
    • The PC is a HP Omen Windows 10 gaming PC... nothing special... but now my MBP is bricked I've discovered it's about 2x as fast as that was for 2/3 of the price of it... so I'm probably sticking with the PC even when I get the MBP back.

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  • Pretty happy with my setup now.

    MacBook Pro with apple mouse and keyboard, all hooked up to a 4k LG 27" monitor that I got delivered from the office. Nice not having to deal with donglegate/a tangle of power cords.

    We're in a very small flat so the desk isn't really a proper desk. Its propped up at one end by a couple of books resting on a radiator and at the other end, a well sized sofa. I slot the desk top down the side of the grey chest of drawers at the end of the day and the living room goes back to looking like I don't live at work...

    Did have a lovely vintage chair but it was creaky, didn't tilt or swivel so managed to pick up this Ikea for 20quid. Convert to working from home now I have all the creature comforts.

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  • Very neat! Could you not use a clamp on arm for the camera? or is your desk flush to the wall? something like this

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The working from home thread: tips and advice

Posted by Avatar for andyp @andyp