Minimal home office, maximum productivity

Minimalism is all about freedom, it’s about clearing clutter, making careful choices, so we can focus on what’s important, and find happiness in life.

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

Tom Robbins

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, impulsively, without considering its real benefits.

The average American spends 8 hours a week cleaning and dealing with stuff, rather than learning something new, traveling or enjoying family.

Having fewer possessions is to have more free time and also allows you to focus on the quality of your belongings since you spend less money on things that you don’t need.

In this post, I’m going to share with you how I organized my home office.

Setting up my home office

There’s no rule for the ideal home office. The first step is to consider your requirements for working – concentrating on what’s essential to your workflow.

Some people might need lots of pens and papers while others, professional speakers.

After setting up some different home offices for myself (below you see 2 of them), I’m gonna share my ideal workspace:

The Room

I live in a studio apartment, however, if you have multiple rooms, choose one that gets sunlight. Working in a bright room definitely increases productivity.

As Berlin is dark 5 months per year, the solution for me was to put a big mirror against the window. It made the room brighter and more spacious.

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 some bright, colorful spots to the furniture to take away the boredom of the space.

Desk

There’s one mandatory requirement for choosing a proper desk: 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, because studies are showing the many benefits of standing up during the workday.

I don’t need a big desk, because I have only a computer as my essential tool and I’m trying hard to go paperless as well.

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

After a couple of months using it along with a MacBook Air, I realized 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 bought a real sit-stand desk, it has 120 x 80cm and fits perfectly into my small room.

A minimal home office is about clearing the distractions and focusing on the ergonomics, boasting your creativity and productivity.
Working at my home office in a sit-stand desk

Chair

This is a no-brainer, after using a Herman Miller chair, you will never want anything else. In Brazil, I have a Mirra Chair.

Yes, it’s an expensive chair, but it has 10 years warranty, and it’s a piece of art regarding ergonomics.

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

A minimal home office is about clearing the distractions and focusing on the ergonomics, boasting your creativity and productivity.
Working at my home office – Sayl Chair

Computer

If a computer is as essential for you as it is for me (I bet it is), you should have the best notebook on the market. And no, not a desktop computer, a laptop.

A laptop gives you freedom, you can do your work in a coffee shop, you can visit your clients, and most importantly, you have the flexibility to travel and keep working.

That’s why I replaced my MacBook Air with a MacBook Pro 15” (now I have the 2017 MacBook Pro).

It has the maximum memory available (16gb) and proper 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.

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

Other devices

I must have a backup system, and you should have one 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 my Western Digital My Passport 3TB and delete it from my computer.

Monthly I back the WD Passport content to the Time Capsule.

How’s your home office?

Feel free to share with us pictures and a description of your workspace, we have a great home office inspiration post.

Maybe we can add your home office there.

Minimalism references

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


A minimal home office is about clearing the distractions and focusing on the ergonomics, boasting your creativity and productivity. Check it out how I planned my workspace. - Elumina.me

Roberto Simões

Product Designer with coding skills that cares about UX. Always trying to increase his productivity and never gives up a challenge.

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