In March 2020, Shopify’s leadership temporarily closed Shopify LA, where I was working, because of the impending pandemic. Shortly afterward, the entire company pivoted from being office-centric with just a few remote employees, to a fully remote company. They called it “Digital by Default,” or Digital by Design.

In the nearly 3 years since, I’ve gradually built up a work from home (WFH) workstation that I’m content with. As a nerd who likes shiny tech, I’m always on the lookout for better toys. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend these tools for most people, but they made sense for me at the time. In the spirit of The Sweet Setup, here’s my current WFH setup!

Workstation with MacBook Pro, external display, and Stewie the cat (not typically included).
  • M1 Pro 14-inch MacBook Pro — 10-core CPU, 16-core GPU, 1 TB SSD, 16 GB RAM — By far the best Mac I’ve owned; an S-tier device.
  • Canon SL3 with Canon EF-S 17-55 F/2.8 — I already had the EF-S lens for my own photography, and I wanted a webcam with reliable autofocus. There are many more webcam options available these days, including Continuity Camera.
  • 27” LG Monitor 27BL85U — A totally fine sRGB 4K monitor that works as an external Mac display with Retina-ish resolution. Funny story: a week before Shopify laid me and 1500 colleagues off, the IT department ordered this monitor for me. It arrived at my apartment a couple of days after the layoffs, and I haven’t been asked to return it 🤞
  • OWC Thunderbolt Dock — This dock has been great, and it comes with a Thunderbolt 4 cable. It allows me to plug in many accessories, and to also move my MacBook Pro easily: just unplug that one Thunderbolt cable and I’m good to go.
  • Elgato Stream Deck — It’s basically what the TouchBar should have been. I’m not completely satisfied with the device, because it becomes unresponsive every few days, which requires me to unplug the USB-C cable from the rear. (This issue also occurs on the replacement Stream Deck that Elgato’s support team sent me under hardware warranty.)
  • Elgato Wave:1 USB-C Microphone mounted on an Elgato Wave Mic Arm LP — A good microphone for video calls and voice recordings. I like how the Arm LP stays out of view, and how easy it is to swing out of the away after a call. It has knobs to adjust the microphone height, but they tend to get stuck.
  • Elgato Key Light with Master Mount and Solid Arm (to mount the camera on) — It’s bright, and I appreciate how its integration with the Stream Deck, lets me program pre-set brightness and color temperature values.
  • Kinesis Gaming Freestyle Edge — Not my favorite mechanical keyboard, but the split design is important for my ergonomic health.
  • Logitech MX Master 3S Mouse and Apple Magic Trackpad — Having both a mouse and a trackpad may seem like overkill, but Macs have many gesture-based features, so it’s a lovely quality of life improvement — especially when navigating Final Cut timelines.
  • ErgoCentric AirCentric 2 Office Chair — I like the adjustability this chair provides, which is particularly important since I’m 6'3". It’s also cheaper than the Herman Miller Aeron — a good office chair let down by its relatively immovable arms.
  • Belkin BOOST↑CHARGE PRO 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Stand with MagSafe — A nice-looking wireless charger, which allows me to mount my phone under the external display.
  • Vari Electric Standing Desk 48x30 — It’s possibly the sturdiest piece of furniture I own. I wish that I didn’t have to continually hold a preset button to raise or lower the desk, but it was very easy to assemble, and has been 100% reliable since March 2020.
  • beUAtiful Black Bamboo Dual Monitor Riser (found on Etsy) — Not an essential item, but when combined with large coffee table books, it allows me to raise my MacBook Pro and external display to more ergonomic heights.
  • Coway Airmega AP-1512HH HEPA — Indoor air quality is important, and this air purifier is nearly silent and cheap to run. Plus, the HEPA filter only needs to be replaced once a year.
Workstation with MacBook Pro, external display, microphone, keyboard, trackpad, and mouse.