I’ve spent lots of time setting up my home office for 2021 and I was really happy with my setup… until I started recording No Office podcast and talked to quite a few professionals about recording podcasts and videos. That’s when I decided to start upgrading everything. I’ve also changed my windows, moved my desk to a different place and added new gear… and I’m very happy with the result:
Let’s start with the chill-out zone and “backstage”
I kept this part of my home office with the document shredder, and other shelves, the chill-out sofa and a movable iPad desk. On the wall I’ve put my “tech museum” with the still-working original iPad on the wall, as well as the iPhone SE, the iPad 3, and many other gadgets.
Stand-up desk with professional recording studio gear
I’ve got a new stand-up desk now. I’ve replaced my old IKEA stand up desk with a new one which has a memory setting for each position. On my desk you’ll still find my old iMac 5K and right next to it there are two Elgato KeyLight units (one lighting me from the side and one from the front).
On the right-hand side of the Mac there’s a Shure MV7 microphone and a telemprompter with an external 10” monitor on it (connected to the iMac with a HDMI cable) and a Sony ZV-E10 camera behind it. The Sony camera is connected via Elgato CamLink 4K to the iMac.
I’ve moved the green screen to the back of the desk so that I can use it with both the Sony camera and the webcam for better background images.
Why the whole setup with teleprompter, Sony camera and external screen?
It’s all to get a higher quality of my recordings. For professional interviews and No Office FM podcast recordings I use the Sony camera with the bokeh effect to look really handsome, just like this:
The person I’m talking to is displayed on the external 10” screen and the teleprompter shows me them directly in front of the camera. This way I can look people directly in their eyes.
Update: many people asked me about this detailed setup so I followed up with my streaming / video conferencing setup in detail with cost calculations and exact links.
For more casual meetings I prefer using the Logitech Brio 4K webcam attached to my iMac. I no longer use the built-in iMac webcam as it’s really bad.
How ergonomics have impacted the setup of my home office
Even though I was really happy with my 2021 home office set up, over the last few months recording both the No Office Podcast and the Polish Nie Ma Biura podcast I’ve received lots of good advice on setting up any kind of offices. Here’s what I learned:
- Natural light must be on your side and that’s why now my desk is at a 90 degrees angle to the window with the sunlight coming from the side. This way when I look at the computer or iPad screen I don’t have such a strong contrast to deal with.
- Artificial light must be straight and from the left side and that’s why I mounted both KeyLight modules like this. First one is right behind the Sony camera hitting me from the front and the other is on the side, giving my face additional depth.
- Stand-up desk must be easy to maneuver - the “memory” feature of the stand-up desk is key. I can now just press a button and the desk goes to the exact position I want it to be at. Both standing and sitting. This helps me change positions quickly ever day.
- Personal stuff on the walls makes the office really mine - I really like my personal things mounted on the wall - the old iPads, the lego sets and other small things. This is what makes my home office truly… mine.
How’s your home office doing?
I’m posting all this to inspire you to also take a look at your home office and modify it to your liking. After all this is the room where it happens and it should be your room. Own it and let me know how it looks like!