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Name: Michael Medina
Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Occupation: IT Infrastructure Support
Room size: 28 m² (301 ft²)
Cost of the setup: ~$2K
Hello! Tell us a bit about yourself
Hello everyone! Hope you’re doing well.
My name is John Michael Medina. I’m 29 years old, and I love photography and video editing.
I’m currently working in IT infrastructure support for a world-leading provider of construction equipment based in Dubai, UAE.
Our company offers software for design. We also create products and tools for onsite work, training, testing, and consultancy.
Our company has over 3K staff all over the Middle East. My team supports a lot of users with software and hardware issues.
Now that we’re in the thick of the global COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people are abruptly forced to work from home.
As this is our team’s first experience with it, we’ll have to figure out how to stay on task in a new environment. The one that may not be conducive to productivity.
The first time you do a thing is always exciting. — Agatha Christie
Dealing with network issues remotely requires a lot of patience. And, of course, the most insidious issue is always the users themselves.
At the end of the day, my team is still grateful that we find ways around the hiccups. As we always say, teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success.
In the UAE, home offices are not commonplace. Most Filipinos residing here have a small budget for rent. Some live in bed spaces or small partition rooms.
In other words, many of us hunch over laptops on sofas or beds, sit on hard dining room chairs or hurt our wrists with poorly placed keyboards on a daily basis.
The days when well-designed offices took care of all this stuff are over for most of us.
As an organised person, which isn’t so common for guys, I’ve always wanted my plans to be systematic.
I want my workspace at home to be comfortable. Less fatigue, less back pain, and fewer distractions.
Fortunately, my wife and I decided to rent a studio flat so now we can have our own privacy.
Take us through your setup
|Monitor||Lenovo ThinkVision P27h-20 27″ QHD Type-C Monitor||Monitor mount||NB North Bayou Monitor Stand H100-B|
|Desktop||Acer Predator G3-605|
|Speakers||Samsung DVD Home Theater HT-E330K|
|Mouse||Logitech MX Master 3|
|Computer table||Height Adjustable Desk Black/Oak-ET114G/ZB01-14070-BH-H18|
|Cable manager||Monoprice Cable Management Spine White|
|Desk mat||THMINS Desk Pad|
|Desktop flower pot||eWinner Desktop Glass Flower Pot 3 Bulbs Vase|
|Wrist rest pad||SKEIDO Wooden Keyboard Cushion Hand Wrist Rest Pad|
|Screen light bar||Quntis Screen Light Bar with No Glare (22~29″)|
Let’s talk about my workspace. I’m the type of person who doesn’t want too many things in my surroundings.
Meaning, I’m a minimalist-type — the complete opposite of my wife.
I don’t have a favourite colour either.
I just enjoy the earthy and rustic colours.
Since my wife has many things and collections, I requested that she give me a little space. Not in a relationship, but in our home.
It may sound funny, but she agreed to give me a 200×150 cm space in our room “beside the door”.
Still thankful, though.
Since I have a small space, I ordered a height-adjustable desk and made sure that the size would fit in this area.
The main reason for choosing this kind of desk was to reduce my back pain. I know most of us also get tired of sitting at work all day.
Now that I switched to a standing desk, I feel much more productive.
With my flexible desk, I always have a choice of how to work.
I decided to use a wireless mechanical keyboard and mouse to make my desk look more spacious without the cables on it.
I сonnected the remaining wires under my desk by using a snake cable manager.
My cable spine is perfect and made specifically for an adjustable desk. It looks neat and organised so my wife has zero valid reasons to nag me. Kidding aside, this system helped my workspace achieve that minimalist feel.
My job often requires me to work at night (overtime), and sufficient lighting prompts me to finish the tasks.
As I mentioned earlier, I like natural colours, so I also put three vases with some Devil’s Ivy plants on my table.
To be short, my desk setup’s palette is as simple and plain as white, brown, green, and black.
A classic workspace look!
What’s your favourite item on your desk?
I never thought I’d have a workspace like this.
Thanks to all the sources I’ve reviewed and browsed, I got massively inspired!
The things and stuff I have now in my home setup are exactly what I had dreamed of.
What I like the most is the NB North Monitor Desk Mount I bought from Amazon. It’s amazing how floating my monitor looks now!
This mount provides effortless positioning and can be tilted or rotated. It also helped me organise my cables for a neat and spacious desktop solution.
What books, blogs or podcasts recently caught your attention?
Getting there takes a lot of effort and money, but it’ll be worth it once you see the results.
Having a well-organised home office will make working much more enjoyable.
Browsing Pinterest may be helpful as well, but I didn’t have the time to look into it. Besides, I didn’t want to get lost in all the different ideas.
The more you see, the more confusing it is.
Any tips for other makers who want to improve their workspaces?
I’ve always wanted to encourage and inspire people through my own example.
Finding the best and most affordable items takes a lot of time, so do your research first. That’s my main piece of advice.
Use your free time to search and browse any household-related websites.
You should determine your workspace budget first, then start with the larger items (desk, chair, monitor, CPU, mouse, keyboard) and work your way down to the smaller ones (accessories).
What does your typical day look like?
I start my day early, just like almost everyone else. I usually wake up at 6 am.
Typically, people open their smartphones first thing in the morning. For me, I begin my day by taking a bath, putting on new clothes, and eating breakfast.
I believe opening your smartphone as soon as you wake up creates a feeling of stress and anxiety.
You’re already bombarded by new messages, e-mails, to-dos, and other stimuli, and all of that can easily cause delays in the work you need to do.
In other words, I open my smartphone only once I’m done with my work preparation.
I start my work at 8 am and make sure to complete the most urgent tasks first. I usually do what IT support is supposed to do (facing the monitor, waiting for tickets, making phone calls, etc.).
I normally work eight hours a day and finish at 5 pm. However, during the WFH era, a large number of our customers are working overtime, so we need to be able to provide them with real-time support.
Changing your workspace from the office to home or vice versa isn’t easy. But we have to extend our understanding of the current situation and adapt quickly.
I can’t say for now that we will go back to working in the office permanently any time soon since the cases here in the UAE are still fluctuating.
Your tips for working from home?
Treat your home as an office during your working time.
You should make a clear distinction between work time and personal time.
This way, your brain will know when it’s time to clock out. This will lead to a better work-life balance.
Take scheduled breaks.
Set up an alarm (or a Pomodoro timer) to get up and move every hour or so.
Breaking up the day and stretching your body helps you recharge and increases your productivity when you’re back to work.
Keep your office separate if you can.
You deserve a functional and appealing dedicated workspace.
I know not everyone has a spare room to use as an office at home. Keeping a monitor and CPU isn’t always feasible. But you can dedicate a desk or table and some peripherals to work only.
Last but not least, be positive. I’m not talking about the PCR test results. I mean life in general.
I believe positiveness should be overdone to the point where it may seem like you’re being overly optimistic.
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.