Want the ultimate home office setup?
Chances are you clicked on this article for one thing – you want to find the ultimate home office setup. And I’m here to share mine.
My name is Kevin. I used to be a pharmacist and haven’t worked a normal 9-5 in over two years. For the last two years, I haven’t had to:
- Show up in an office (or pharmacy in my case)
- Waste time stuck in LA traffic
- Deal with a “boss”
I can choose to work from home, a coffee shop, or even fly to a different country and work from there.
While this life sounds pretty awesome, there’s pros and cons for this lifestyle. It’s definitely not for everyone and actually requires MORE discipline since there’s no accountability or people telling you what to do.
Imagine this – do you remember what it was like back in college and studying in your dorm room? It’s difficult.
Back in pharmacy school, I was always a fan of working at coffee shops, but fighting for power outlets was never a fun thing.
And as I jump in the online business and entrepreneur world, I’m having to take more Zoom meetings, phone calls, and I can’t shoot videos there.
So that leaves me with two options. I can either:
- Pay a few hundred a month for an office space like WeWork
- Setup a home office
I went for option number 2 – the home office… and I love it. And FYI – I still go to work from coffeeshops to co-work with friends and write articles like this one.
So in today’s article I’m going to breakdown my ultimate home office setup.
What I need my ultimate home office setup to do
My ultimate home office setup needs to do three things. I wanted a:
- Quiet space to take sales calls and meetings. Everyday I take anywhere from 6-10 calls per day for my high ticket sales business. No matter how great your mic is, coffee shops have background noise and the internet is unreliable.
- Video set that would “wow” my clients on video calls and where I could shoot YouTube videos with ease
- Dedicated space in my home so I can create content and the flip of a switch
- Desk that goes from sitting to standing instantly… with a foldable treadmill under it.
Even if your needs are different, you need to find the right desk, camera, microphone, lights, computer, and accessories.
If you need ideas, check out my setup. You don’t need to copy it, but it’ll spark ideas about what might up your productivity and business game.
Finding the right desk
You need the right desk to hold everything.
Initially I was looking at an electronic standing black desk from Costco. It was a black tempered glass desk that could go from a sitting to standing position.
But I quickly realized – I hate wasting things and I already have a perfectly great desk. So here was my solution:
- Walker Edison Corner L Shaped Glass Desk – I bought this is a sleek glass desk before the standing desk hype. One of the reasons why I love this desk is because it was easy to disassemble, transport, and the sleek modern design all at a low cost. L shaped desks are not only great for productivity, but give the “step into my office” vibe.
- Flexispot M3B 47 Inch Desk Riser – I was deciding this or the Tresanti Adjustable Desk at Costco. The deciding factor was that I didn’t want my perfectly great desk going into the landfill. When it comes to risers, bigger is better (insert sexual pun here). Don’t skimp on working space. This desk riser is heavy and won’t move. It’s also sturdy and supports my monitor, microphone, and camera boom arm. It’s pretty expensive, but well worth it. Also I went for a manual single handle design. Motors eventually die and I wanted to cut down on the cords.
- DX Racer Chair – I actually wrote an article about this chair back in 2015 and still have it. Right now – there’s a lot of knockoffs, but it’s held up perfectly over the last five years. I still get comments on the chair whenever I do my live streams or when friends come over. And I just love sitting on this chair when I do decide to sit down. Also it reclines all the way back when I do my meditation.
- Walking Pad A1 – I first heard about walking desks from Dan Pena, but I avoided them because of the space requirement. The Walking Pad A1 solves this problem because it FOLDS up! I use this when I’m on sales calls, editing videos, and planning my day… all while burning some calories. For example, the other day I lost track of time and walked about 30,000 steps while I took a few sales calls and edited videos. The key is to go at a slow pace. It was the easiest 1500 calories I burned in my life!
- TMS Synthetic Leather Hydraulic Bar Stools – Honestly this is the stool I use but you can use any stool. These actually come in a set of two. Sometimes I don’t want to fully sit, but want to rest. So I put the stool on the treadmill for a few minutes and went back to walking. They aren’t the most comfortable stools in the world, but they do the job.
Finding the right computer setup
- 2015 Macbook Pro 15 Inch (MJLU2LL/A): Rather than get the biggest and baddest computer setup, I recently started asking… what am I using this for? For me, I use this computer to edit my YouTube videos with Final Cut Pro X, sales calls, open up 10 Chrome browser windows, and stream… sometimes all at the same time. And surprisingly it still holds up. Chances are this will be good enough for you too. The best part? It still has the regular USB port and the SD card reader. This is essential for any content creator. Being five years old, this computer is still a STEAL compared to any modern day mac.
- Brother Printer HL-2340D Printer – I’ve this black and white printer for the last 5 years. It fits my needs with wifi, two sided printing, and is fast. This is essential for sales calls or editing articles. Mo color, mo problems.
- LG 34″ Class UltraWide IPS Gaming Monitor (LG34UM57) – This 34 inch monitor that has Freesync that works with AMD processors. I love using this with my 2015 MacBook Pro and it’s still running after 5 years. The wide screen makes this monitor a must have for video editing because of the wide timeline view. Keep in mind – this isn’t a curved monitor, but I didn’t need that to begin with. Works great with the Amazon boom arm. This also replaces a dual monitor setup.
- AmazonBasics Premium Single Monitor Stand – This is will be the only arm you need – especially if you’re using the LG 34 inch monitor I mentioned. Don’t go cheap with your arm because it might drop your monitor and set you back another $300.
- Magic Mouse – This is my favorite mouse for editing in Final Cut Pro for Mac because of the gesture features. I currently have the first generation, which uses 2 AA batteries, but sucks it up. I’ve heard good things about the a second generation, except that you can’t use it while charging.
- Logitech K750 (solar charging) – I hate charging and batteries so that’s why I looked into the solar keyboards. Another things I love about this keyboard is the tactile feel of this. A good feeling keyboard is important because it will encourage you write more. I’m actually typing this article with this keyboard and it feels amazing.
- MX Anywhere 2S – This is my primary mouse. It has fast hyperscrolling, pointer speed, and works on any surface. While it does have Logitech Flow, where you can use the same mouse on multiple computers, I found that you need to buy the right keyboard and it’s slow. Instead I connect my multiple computers using Synergy app. It works across Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. It’s worth the investment.
Optimizing my internet gear
I learned from Noah Koagan that one of the biggest productivity mistakes you can make is bottlenecking yourself with technology.
Invest in the best computer, phone, and internet because the speed of those items affects everything you do. Since I have an internet business, I need fast internet. I’m constantly uploading, downloading, and streaming content.
A lot of the time the bottleneck isn’t our internet speed, but the equipment we’re using. All the equipment I mentioned below supports 1 Gigabit download and essentially future proofing yourself.
After talking to a few of my tech friends, they recommended separating your router and modem for the best performance.
- Netgear Nighthawk R7900P – This is the router that was recommended by my friend Tom when I visited him in Texas. We would literally get wifi signal 2 blocks from his home. While I don’t exactly get the “same” results, it’s fast and extends really far.
- Netgear CM1000 – This is a modem that was also recommended by my friend Tom and also supports 1 Gigabit download speeds.
Optimizing your air
This goes hand in hand with not bottlenecking your tech devices like phones and computers. Clean air is essential especially if you have a home office and are working in it for 8 hours per day.
I’m allergic to dust, pollen, and have tons of books that collect dust. So investing into my cleaning gear helps me wake up with more energy and sneeze less. This definitely helps when I’m shooting YouTube videos, video meetings, and sales calls.
- Winix C545 – If there’s one thing I regret it’s not getting my air purifier sooner. I have bad allergies and this has helped me immensely. I’m more productive and energetic too. Plus I notice that I don’t have as much dust flying around the room.
- Dyson V10+ Vacuum Cleaner – This is another item I wish I invested in sooner. I have a problem with not dusting and cleaning regularly. After paying close to $400 on a vacuum cleaner you can bet that I’m cleaning everyday. Hell – I actually enjoy using my vacuum now. There’s a lot of different accessories where I can clean things like my bookshelf and those hard to reach places. The best part is that this is cordless so I can use it on my care and those hard to reach places.
Finding the right video gear
If you haven’t seen the best YouTube setup, check it out here. But there are some differences with my everyday setup. When it comes to video gear, there’s three things I wanted. Everything must be:
- Mounted on an adjustable boom arm: I need to readily use the video gear and then move it out of the way when I’m not using it
- Sturdy: I have expensive ass equipment. I recently dropped my G85 and this was due to a bad tripod. Since then I pay top dollar for any mounts.
- High quality: The better the gear, the less time I need to focus on lighting or editing because the camera makes up for it.
Over the years I’ve used a lot of different cameras including Canon, but recently switched over to Panasonic. Best idea ever. With that being said, here is my setup:
- VIVO Microphone Arm Mount with Neewer adapter – Yes I know I’m using a microphone boom arm for my camera. When I was looking online, I couldn’t find a good camera arm. And since breaking my G85, it’s hard to find something that you can trust with your camera – so I went for a Microphone mount. I choose this over the Rode PSA1, Blue Compass, and the Manfrotto Super Clamp with Magic Arm. After watching reviews, the Vivo Microphone arm is underrated. Compared to it’s competitors, it’s sturdier and is only half the cost so it doesn’t break the bank. It’s so good that I’m buying another arm for a dual camera setup when my G85 gets back from the shop.
- Panasonic GH5 (primary camera) with a 15 mm F1.7 lens or 12-35 mm F2.8 lens – The GH5 is my new primary camera and replaced my Panasonic G85 (secondary) since it’s currently in the repair shop. The autofocus has significantly improved with the new 2019 update. While the autofocus is nothing like Sony or Canon’s line, this is still a fantastic camera and will probably be the only camera I’ll ever need. As for the lenses, I love the 12-35 mm because of it’s sharpness, low aperture, zoom, and dual image stabilization. I bought the 15 mm because I needed a good sharp prime lens for the bokeh effect – AKA blurry background effect.
- SuperNova Ring Light – This is my default light and the only light you’ll need. Lighting is important because it’ll even out your skin tone. While it’s more expensive than other lights, this is the only light I plan on intend on using in the future. I talk a lot about in my YouTube article here.
- Magewell USB HDMI Adapter – If you want to take the quality of your live streams from good to great, you’re probably missing the Magewell USB HDMI adapter. It turns your pro camera into a high quality plug and play camera. The only thing you need to check is your camera. Unless you like all the camera functions displayed during your live stream, you need clean HDMI output. Both the GH5 and G85 camera have this function.
Finding the right audio gear
This is not my complete list of audio gear, but again check out my YouTube setup for a complete list. Again there’s three things I wanted. Everything must be:
- Mounted on an adjustable boom arm: The gear must be easily adjustable and on a boom so I can move the equipment out of the way.
- Sturdy: Like the video gear, I have expensive equipment and don’t want to drop my gear.
- High quality: I needed gear so that it wouldn’t pick up ambient noise, but not be so sensitive where it would pickup noise from my table. Also high quality gear reduces the amount of work in post editing as well.
With that being said, here is my setup for my YouTube channel, Zoom meetings, and high ticket sales calls:
- Shure SM7B – This is my microphone of choice. The SM7B is a microphone which is great for blocking out background noise and it’s high quality. Some notable people that have used this are Joe Rogan, Robin Quivers from Howard Stern, and Michael Jackson in his performance of thriller. One of the cons about the SM7B is that it needs a preamp like a Cloudlifter or DBX 286S. If you’re not too tech savy and a beginner, I would probably recommend a SM58 instead. You don’t need a preamp for the SM58.
- Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 – This is what I plug my DBX 286S and SM7B. It communicates signal to my microphones to the computer. Looking back I probably could have used my Zoom H5, but this does the job.
- DBX 286S Preamplifer – This is my microphone preamp and processor. While it’s bulky, there a lot of different options that you can manually set. If you’re a beginner and new to audio, it’s probably just easier to get a Cloudlifter instead.
- Stage Ninja – You need something to hold your mic. I love the stage ninja because you can clip it to anything without damaging it. There’s padding to prevent damaging whatever you’re clamping it to. I actually clip it to my standing desk.
What is your ultimate home office setup?
When you put everything together, this is what you get:
Anyways I wanted to ask you:
- What is your ultimate home office setup look out like?
- Do you have any recommendations for gear that you think I should out?
Feel free to let me know in the comments. Also some other articles that you might like are: