Your environment often dictates your productivity levels. These sites offer guides and inspiration to set up a workspace that maximizes your potential, whether at home or at the office.
The pandemic has made many people realize that whether it’s work-from-home (WFH) or going to the office, the key to productivity is how you arrange your workspace. Whether it’s a dedicated desk, or you’re in a cramped space and need to clear up a space daily, the point is to understand what you need and make it happen before you begin work. These websites and guides will show you how to configure the ideal desk or workspace, and take inspiration from others’ setups.
1. Maker Stations (Web): Beautiful Workspace Setups With Interviews of the Makers
Maker Stations is a blog by the team of Ilya, Lena, and Trisha, with the sole aim of curating beautiful and functional home office setups from makers around the world and telling the stories of people behind them. The focus here is on remote work, so you won’t find office desk setups, but you could still take inspiration from it.
The blog isn’t just a place to share a picture of a workplace setup, but also to learn why it’s productive for the person who did it. After all, productivity is different for everyone, so you need to find not only a setup that matches your workspace but also a person that matches your work style. The in-depth setup tours will tell you everything you need to know, such as room size, occupation, cost of the setup, items used (in both tech and furniture), and the entire thinking behind it.
The website is largely divided into three sections: setup tours, home office ideas, and WFH tips. Maker Stations handily tags the different types of setups depending on size, such as small space setups and desk setups, so you can quickly find something that fits your space and style.
2. Workspaces Newsletter (Web): Weekly Workspaces of Creative Individuals
Workspaces Newsletter is a weekly newsletter by Ryan Gilbert that shows the home office and desk setup of successful professionals. The exercise started with a focus on creative individuals only but has recently expanded to include others in the startup and entrepreneur space as well.
Workspaces Newsletter prefers a get-to-the-point approach, usually showing a gallery of images from the weekly guest, their job profile, and a short write-up. You’ll find a series of physical goods they keep with them at all times, as well as a list of digital tools that help them maximize their productivity. It’s a clean and quick read, which also makes it easy to browse the 100+ back issues in the archive once you subscribe to the free newsletter.
Recently, Workspaces Newsletter won Side Project of the Year at Product Hunt’s awards, giving it much more recognition (and in turn, prestige that gives access to some very cool folks). One can only hope there’s better and better to come.
3. Scooget (Web): Gaming and Workspace Setups With Interactive Products
Scooget is one of the coolest websites to discover workspace and gaming setups, as well as share your own. The community features YouTube creators and Twitch streamers, and even average joes sharing their rig.
Each workspace includes multiple pictures of the setup, along with interactive buttons. While sharing the workspace, uploaders are encouraged to tag each product with a link. This way, if you like the setup and want to know what a product is, you can find out and buy it in a couple of clicks. This also populates Scooget’s Gear catalog of popularly used products, and how people set them up.
The website also encourages strong community participation. Each shared profile works like a post on Instagram or Facebook, where the uploader writes a caption, and readers can leave comments to ask questions. With over 1000 workspace setups to browse from, you’re bound to find something that fits your space.
Those who are passionate about the way they configure and tweak their workspaces will love these three Reddit communities. They’re all pretty similar in nature, with only a few minor differences, so it’s best to subscribe to all three.
- Workspaces is the largest workspace and productivity desk setup community, with a shared purpose of getting things done.
- Desk Setup allows for all types of work setups and gaming rooms and even encourages you to post when you do small additions like hanging a new poster.
- BattleStations is mainly for gamers, but you’ll also find workspace setups for productivity and creative professionals.
The subreddits are for both sharing images of your current workspace and asking for advice on how to improve it. When someone posts their setup, the comments are mostly positive and kind. If you ask a polite question, you’re going to get a polite answer.
5. Matthew Encina (YouTube) and Zapier (Web): How to Organize Your Workspace and Desk
Emulating these workspace setups by others is a sure-fire way to get a good thing. But the ideal result is to create your own workspace setup and organized desk that fits your space. To do that, you need to know a few things about ergonomics and aesthetics.
Your first step to learn all that should be Zapier’s excellent guide on the ergonomics of your desk. You’ll learn things like how to set up lighting, plants, and temperature to create an ideal environment. Then you’ll learn the right way to set up your desk, like how high should your monitor be? It’s a clear, concise guide that’s a must-read before customizing your workspace.
Once you know the basics from Zapier, level up with designer and YouTuber Matthew Encina. Encina’s playlist of workspace videos has plenty of insights on how to declutter, re-organize, and set up a workspace or a desk. He even recommends some great products to make organizing easier. If you’re working from home, then also check out his Home Office Update 2021 playlist, which has further tips and some great DIY projects like building a cable-free desk.
Don’t Forget to Take Scheduled Breaks
When you create a great workspace with the inspiration and tips from this article, you’ll want to spend more time there. You’re in the zone, after all, you’re feeling productive! But don’t let that fool you into working for too long.
It’s important for both your physical and mental health to take frequent breaks. One of the best tips for a productive work environment is to schedule these breaks into your work calendar and get up from your chair and move around.