Katie’s Minimal Standing Desk Setup in Jersey City, New Jersey

Katie’s Minimal Standing Desk Setup in New Jersey, US

“Investing in a standing desk was probably one of the best decisions I made”

Editorial Team
Editorial Team

What’s Inside

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Name: Katie Eckstrom

Location: Jersey City, NJ, the United States

Occupation: Marketing Director

Room size: 18,5 m² (199 ft²)

Cost of the setup: $1,3K

Social media: Instagram, LinkedIn

Hello! Tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Katie Eckstrom!

I’m the Marketing Director at Plugable Technologies. Over the past five years, I’ve built a small but mighty 15-person marketing team from the ground up.

I launched more than thirty successful products on Amazon globally and have recently started expanding my expertise into the B2B e-commerce space.

One month after graduating from UW Foster Business School with a degree in Marketing, the start-up that hired me let me go for financial reasons.

Katie Eckstrom at her minimal standing desk setup
A marketing director Katie Eckstrom has been working from home since the pandemic began

I started applying for every marketing-related job I could find. My first interview was with a small tech e-commerce company.

The founder hired me and gave me a shot to be their first marketing employee ever. Six months in, he asked me if I wanted to build a team, and the rest is history.

I’m married to my high school sweetheart. We’ve lived in three different states (CA, WA, and NJ) and six different apartments/houses.

We spend our time outside of work travelling, fishing, doing road trips, having BBQs, and cooking at home.

We’ve had a few English bulldogs over the years, including the one who had five puppies!

Katie’s home office is centred around the Flexispot standing desk. It boosts her productivity and helps to feel healthier
Katie’s workspace is centred around the standing desk. It boosts her productivity and helps to feel healthier

I’ve had many people bet on me in my career, and I try to do the same for others.

I love learning and talking about all things marketing, tech, and business, so feel free to connect!

Take us through your setup

Item Model
Monitor Dell 27″ QHD Monitor
Monitor mount Ergotron – LX Single Monitor Arm
Laptop MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020, Four Thunderbolt 3 ports)
Keyboard Apple Magic Keyboard
Mouse Apple Magic Mouse
Docking station Plugable Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C Dual Display Docking Station
Chair West Elm Maine Swivel Office Chair
Desk mat Satechi Eco-Leather Deskmate
Laptop stand Besign LSX3 Aluminum Laptop Stand
Desk FLEXISPOT EG1 Essential Electric Standing Desk
File cabinet IKEA Besta Burs File Cabinet
Seat cushion Purple Royal Seat Cushion

Getting my workspace to where it is now has been a journey.

I went from full-time in the office to abruptly working from home in 2020 like so many others.

I worked from a dining room table for almost two years before deciding to invest in a setup.

I think it took me a long time to actually put together a desk setup because one, desk equipment is not cheap, and two, I thought what I was working with was good enough.

Little did I know how much more happy and productive I’d be once I actually created a space that worked for me.

A minimal WFH desk setup featuring panoramic views over Jersey City
While building her WFH desk setup, Katie adopted the philosophy of “less is more”

When I decided to start planning my dream workspace, I knew that I wanted a clean yet functional space.

Therefore, I started with my MacBook Pro and needed to decide what was everything I wanted to connect around it so I could be as productive as possible.

This meant extending my screen real estate to at least one large monitor and connecting all of my other peripherals like my Apple keyboard, mouse, and hard drives.

A neutral minimalistic home workspace
She put together her minimal desk setup after two years of working from a dining table

Having an ergonomic setup that would allow me to enjoy the apartment views was also important to me.

Investing in a standing desk was probably one of the best decisions I made.

Now when I’m feeling stiff (usually around 3 pm), I raise my desk up, and I’m able to move a bit, which I’ve found also helps with cognitive ergonomics.

I now look forward to my work days when I have my morning coffee while watching the boats go by on the Hudson River and catching up on emails and new reads.

Then usually having a full day of meetings and spending the late afternoons/evenings working on projects from a workspace I enjoy.

I’ve never felt more productive and happy working at a desk.

A Miro board featuring all the main items in Katie’s minimal desk setup
The Miro board featuring all the main items in her desk setup

What’s your favourite item on your desk?

In order to achieve a workspace that is functional and visually appealing, a docking station is a must-have item.

It allows me to connect all of my peripherals (monitors, SD cards, USB drives, iPhone, Bluetooth adapters, etc.) and charge my laptop all through a single cable back to my laptop.

laptops to connect to other devices with little or no effort. Docking stations allow users with a laptop to turn it into a desktop computer in the office or at home.

I picked out the Plugable Thunderbolt 3 Dual Display Dock because it was compatible with my MacBook Pro, gave me access to 14 more ports, and offered 100W laptop charging.

I also liked that it was future proof so if I wanted to upgrade my laptop, add an extra display (HDMI or DisplayPort), or upgrade to a 4K display the dock would still support it.

Because of the Plugable dock, I’m now able to simultaneously work across multiple screens, connect all my peripherals, keep everything charged, and master cable management.

If you want a clean and productive setup, a dock is the secret.

Self-gripping cable ties are one of the most popular ways to keep cables and wires organised
Self-gripping cable ties keep cables and wires under control

What apps or tools do you use to get things done?

I pretty much live and breathe the Google Suite for everything day-to-day.

I like it because it’s super easy to keep everything connected and functioning together.

For example, I can view my calendar while working on a document or create a task when answering emails.

A clean and functional standing desk setup
Clean yet functional is the look Katie went for in her home workspace

The other tool I use a ton is Trello. I use Trello for short-term and long-term project management and team collaboration. It helps me organise, plan and automate projects for myself and my team.

My overall favourite tool, however, is Miro.

It is basically an endless virtual whiteboard.

I use this a ton for creative team collaboration, planning and brainstorming visual projects, and also for creative feedback across the entire company.

Daily apps and tools I use:

Others I like:

What books, blogs or podcasts recently caught your attention?

I’ve recently discovered The CMO Podcast with Jim Stengal, which was created by GaryVee.

I also listen to The McKinsey Podcast, Armchair Experts, How I Built This, and The Daily.

These podcasts stay in my playlist because they keep me updated on what’s happening in the business world but also dive deep into subject matter experts around marketing and other fields.

A well-organised workspace featuring a Flexispot standing desk
Katie doesn’t keep a lot of things on her desk. She believes it’s a whole lot easier to stay productive and energetic when the workspace is clean and well-organised

Some of my favourite books have been The Alliance, Shoe Dog, and This is Marketing.

I have times in my life where I read a ton, and then I won’t read for months, but these are books that have made an impression on me and stuck with me throughout my career.

Any tips for other makers who want to improve their workspaces?

Invest in what will help you be more productive and happy!

That may be a new chair, an extra monitor, or even something as simple as a fun desk light.

My other piece of advice is just do it!

I waited two years before deciding to actually invest in a good desk setup.

I wish I had done it wa-a-ay earlier.

It’s worth it. Trust me.

What does your typical day look like?

There is no such thing as a “typical” day in my world as a Marketing Director in the tech industry.

I work in a very fast-paced environment with constantly shifting priorities and new initiatives.

At any given time, I’m juggling three to four new product launches, a talented growing team, and collaborations with multiple external partners.

Even though every day is different, I definitely have a routine. My routine consists of an early morning walk while listening to a podcast or music.

A clean and ergonomic desk setup with panoramic city views
It was crucial for Katie to create a workspace that would let her enjoy the panoramic views of Jersey City while WFH

A stop at my favourite coffee shop for an iced latte and chocolate crescent when I want to treat myself.

Then I answer any quick emails, read any new blogs/articles I follow, and get ready for the day.

I typically start meetings around 10 am and end around 6-7 pm. I either make a quick lunch at home or walk to a local pizza shop or deli.

Katie Eckstrom at her lunch
“For dinner, I usually cook at home, but sometimes my husband and I will venture into NY to try a new place or get our favourite tacos,” says Katie

What I actually work on during the day varies from planning new product launches, looking over our analytic dashboards, giving feedback on new product packaging, managing our PR agency, leading content strategy, and so much more.

I also have meetings like a weekly director operating meeting, daily all company and team stand-ups, 1:1s, a social planning meeting every Monday, and a touch base call with our PR agency every Wednesday.

I love what I do because every day is different.

Every night, Katie can enjoy the view of the sunset over the city right from her desk
Every night, Katie can enjoy the view of the sunset over the city right from her desk

I also love it because I get to work from home full-time.

This means I get to travel frequently between our second home in Washington State and visit my family in Southern California.

Before the pandemic, I was 100% in the office, but now our company lets us decide if we want to be full-time in the office, remote, or hybrid.

Since I decided to work from home full-time, this was a big reason why I decided it was time to create a workspace I love.

Your tips for working from home?

While I love working from home, it can be isolating and lonely sometimes.

I try to have some connection with my friends and team daily — through chat or short meetings to just catch up.

I always like to start meetings with at least a few minutes of fun personal talk before jumping straight into business.

A night view of Jersey City's skyline
Katie’s schedule is as planned out as her workspace. Being outside is an essential part of her routine, although every day is different

It’s important to be intentional in building human connections and relationships since it’s much more difficult to do virtually.

I also like to give myself short 15-minute breaks every three hours. Our bodies aren’t made to sit still and stare at a screen eight hours a day.

I find that these short mental breaks to move the laundry, check social media, or grab the mail really help keep me focused throughout the day and avoid burnout.

How to Take Better Breaks When Working from Home
Improve your productivity and cut down on stress with these ideas for taking better breaks while WFH.

When in the office and commuting, you don’t realise how much more often you move compared to working from home.

Even though it’s so simple, I find that these short breaks are so important, especially on the busiest days.

We’re a reader-supported publication. This article might contain affiliate links. It means we may receive a commission if you click a link and buy a product that our maker has recommended. The interview was done independently.

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