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!
- 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 🤞
- 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.