Shifting from working in a co-located office to working from home is a liberating and alienating experience. You quickly learn that limitations of the traditional office are non-existent and then much later that you’re the office manager, IT support, caterer, and receptionist.
As a technology enthusiast, one of the first changes that I embraced was the ability to choose which tools I wanted to work with. However, this comes with a catch: the upgrades would come out of my own pocket.
Not wanting to be constrained to a laptop display and a boring mediocre external display, I sought out the most capable, well designed, and high fidelity monitor I could find. For my keyboard and mouse, nothing less than ideal would suffice, so there too, I sought out the best of the best.
“The best investment is in the tools of ones own trade.”Benjamin Franklin
While these tools may be seen merely as objects, and my pursuit of them as unnecessary consumerism, I instead saw them as a reflection of the value of my work and myself. I believe we are all worth more than a $20 keyboard and mouse combo. I believe we should have a monitor with enough real-estate and pixel density to help us do our work fluidly. I believe we should have a listening experience that helps us tune out the distractions and achieve flow. I believe we’re worth the investment of premium technology to do wonderful work.
Because of those beliefs, I invested in myself and I’m so glad I did. Now when I sit (or stand) at my beautiful desk in my ergonomic chair, or my thoughtfully chosen area rug, my hands flow across a beautifully designed and delightful to use keyboard built for creators. My right hand drapes over a precise and ergonomically designed powerful mouse. My eyes soak in pixels saturated with color from a curved display. My ears are enveloped in rich bass and my desk is clear of clutter due to the built in USB-C dock and port replicator in my monitor.
I’m not wealthy and my work didn’t reimburse me, but these were investments that have empowered me to do my best work and feel more value and confidence each day that I tackle a new project or stakeholder. I saw value in myself and my work, and knew that I also needed to assign value to the tools that help me do that.
Just as a chef needs a sharp knife, an artist the finest paints, a knowledge worker should value the tools and technology that will lead them to their best work.
What tools do you use in your office on the goal that help you to be successful? Leave a comment below.
Here’s what I bought:
HP ENVY 34 34-inch Monitor
Logitech Craft Keyboard
Logitech MX Master Mouse
QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones II
Pottery Barn Pittsburgh Crank Standing Desk
Steelcase Think Chair
Microsoft Lifecam Studio