Working at home office - Sayl Chair

Minimalism is about freedom, it’s about clearing clutter so we can focus on what’s important, and find happiness.

“Any half-awake materialist well knows – that which you hold holds you.”

That doesn’t mean there’s something wrong about owning things.

The problem is that we tend to buy everything that we like or might need, without considering its real benefits.

The average american spends 8 hours a week cleaning and dealing with stuff, time they could’ve been spending to learn a new language or to enjoy family.

We can conclude that to have less possessions is to have more free time, to have to put less effort. And as you’re spending less money on useless stuff, you can then focus on the quality of what you have.

Setting up the home office

There’s no rule for the ideal home office. The first step is to consider your requirements for working – focusing on what’s essential to your workflow. Some people might need pen and paper while others, professional speakers. After setting up some different home offices in my life (bellow you see 2 of them), I’m gonna share my ideal workspace:

The Room

I have only one room in my house, but if you have multiple rooms, choose one that gets sun light. Working in a bright room definitely increases productivity.

As Berlin doesn’t have good weather, the solution for me was to put a big mirror against the window. It made the room brighter and bigger.

As a minimalist I discard everything that distracts me, so that’s why in my home office I don’t have fancy posters and family pictures. While neutrals and grey tones are a hallmark of the minimalist movement, I tried to insert bright, colourful spots to the furniture to take a way the boredom of the space.

Working at home office - sit-stand desk

Desk

For choosing a good desk there’s one mandatory requirement: it must balance between accommodating all your essential working tools and fitting well in your room.

The second requirement is ergonomics. I strongly recommend that you buy a sit-stand desk, there are studies showing the many benefits of standing up during the work day.

I don’t need a big desk, because I have only a computer as my essential tool. I’m trying hard to go paperless as well, though it will be a bit of a difficult task living in Germany, as most of the bureaucratic correspondence is done by paper.

As soon as I arrived here in Berlin, I bought a Ergotron WorkFit-P Sit-Stand Workstation which fits in both requirements and it’s portable – if I have to move to another city, country, it’ll be easy to move it with me.

After a couple of months using it along a Macbook Air, I realised that I was going to stay for a long time here and I extended my renting contract for 2 more years. It was time to build a good working space.

I’m selling the Ergotron table. And I bought a real sit-stand desk, it has 120 x 80cm and fits perfectly into my small room.

Working at home office - Sayl Chair

Chair

This is a no-brainer, after using a Herman Miller chair, you will never want something else. In Brazil I have the Mirra Chair. Yes it’s an expensive chair; but it has 10 years warranty and it’s a piece of art in terms of ergonomic.

For my new home office I bought the Sayl model, which is less expensive but it’s also very flexible and durable.

Computer

If a computer is as important for you as it is for me, you should have the best notebook in the market. And no, not a desktop computer, a laptop. A laptop gives you freedom, you can go work in a coffee shop, you can visit your clients and most important, in my opinion, is that you can travel and still work.

That’s why I replaced my Macbook Air with a Macbook Pro 15”. It has the maximum memory available (16gb) and good storage (512gb SSD), the retina display is just perfect and it’s the biggest screen that Apple offers.

But you will agree with me, working on a laptop is not comfortable. The size of the screen matters especially for those who work in the creative field. That’s why a bought a Dell 27” 4k display monitor. It’s the best cost-benefit in the market and there’s only one annoying bug, but that thankfully I managed to fix.

Another benefit of having an external display for me, as my home office is hosted in my living room, is an important one: it allows me to watch movies on a bigger screen!

Working at home office - sit-stand desk

Other devices

I must have a backup system, and you should as well. I have an Apple’s AirPort Time Capsule, that works as my Wifi router and also makes automatic daily backups from my computer.

As soon as I finish a project I back it up on a external HD, and delete it from my computer. For this I use a Western Digital My Passport 2TB.

How’s your home office?

Feel free to share with me pictures and a description of you workspace, I’m planning to write a post with great home offices.

Minimalism references


PS: I’d like to thank Tatiana Bastos for the nice pictures!