Liza Shulyayeva

My WFH workspace evolution



COVID necessitated WFH when I was still at EA. EA quickly took measures and closed the office. They issued an allowance for people to buy equipment to work from home. I opted to work from a work-issued laptop and ordered a Varier Variable Balans kneeling chair with my allowance.

Work laptop at kitchen table with Varier Variable Balans chair

I also purchased a frankly kind of crappy laptop stand. It was convenient when you didn’t actually put any weight on it, but I soon learned that it was untenable for actual daily work.

Work laptop at flimsy laptop stand with Varier Variable Balans chair

When I started working at Embark mid-pandemic, they sent a desktop PC and a large monitor home to me, which I set on my dining table. I live in a 47sqm apartment and, not knowing how long this would last, decided not to get a work desk just for this. I really didn’t want to take up too much space in my house.

Desktop PC at kitchen table with a cat

This worked relatively well for the nearly two years that I worked there. The only issue was, I couldn’t comfortably use my new Varier Variable Balans chair with my kitchen table because my knees kept hitting the underside of the table. The ideal table for this chair is one that was either a little higher or, even better, height adjustable.

But luckily, EA let me keep the kneeling chair I’d been using in the office for years. This one was also from Varier (and is actually how I first learned about the brand). This kneeling chair (the Wing Balans) could be raised and lowered, and so could be used very comfortably with my kitchen table.

Desktop PC at kitchen table with Varier Wing Balans chair

Nowadays, I am once more on a full laptop setup for work, and got a small office desk that I’ve set up in my bedroom, near the window.

Matting StandUp desk top with a laptop next to a window

That weird fabric thing under the tabletop is a clamping LED light covered with a silk night cap. I like it because it provides some stuble lighting when needed, and the fabric diffuses it in a nice way.

The desk is height adjustable and works really well with my Varier Variable Balans (although I actually enjoy switching between the Variable Balans and the Wing Balans every few months). I specifically wanted something with manual adjustment, nothing I would need to plug in. The Matting StandUp seemed perfect for this. It seems solidly built and is easy to raise and lower with a level on the right hand side.

Matting StandUp standing desk lever

As you can see, it’s also perfectly suited to hang scrunchies off of.

There is a slightly longer version of the Matting StandUp desk, but being on a laptop and in such a small space, I wanted something smaller. So far, this size has suited me well.

Matting StandUp standing desk workspace

One of the things I like about working from home is not needing to stay in the same spot all day, so I also enjoy working on my balcony, couch, even bed sometimes. But “work base” still tends to be my little standing desk workspace.

Laptop at Matting StandUp desk with Varier Wing Balans chair

There are a couple of upgrades I’d like to make to the setup:

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