What equipment do I need to have my own professional office setup? How do I know which cables to buy? How do I setup dual monitors? What if I use an Apple Mac®?
All of these questions are important ones to ask, since not many of us have a personal IT professional we can call. The Monoprice Technical Support team is well trained and fully qualified to help you determine exactly what you need, but we wanted to put together a brief overview of which equipment you might need for your specific situation.
Professional Office: The Professional Office setup adds more features and chooses more advanced options for newer and more capable computer configurations.
Ergonomic Keyboard and Mouse: The ergonomic design of a good keyboard and mouse can improve your long-term comfort and productivity. Add back-lighting to the keyboard to improve low-light work performance.
Ergonomic Chair: At first thought, sitting on a sofa or in an easy chair for work may sound appealing, but they promote poor posture, which can cause neck and back pain and reduce productivity. At the other end of the spectrum, a straight back chair keeps you upright with better posture, but it can be uncomfortable, which can also reduce productivity. The best solution is an ergonomic office chair, which provides the right balance between comfort and productivity. A good ergonomic chair provides lumbar support, which helps maintain proper posture and reduces pain and fatigue.
Monitor: Whether you are using a desktop or laptop computer, a second monitor can greatly improve productivity by providing more desktop area to arrange windows so you can simultaneously view multiple open documents and drag text and images between them.
Dual Monitor Desk Mount: While you can place your monitors on a desk or table using the included stands, a dual monitor desk mount allows you to elevate the monitors to eye level and arrange them side-by-side. This reduces neck and eye strain from looking down and eliminates neck swivel from side to side caused by poorly placed monitors.
Display Adapter or USB-C Hub with MST: Unless your desktop or laptop computer already has two video outputs, you will need a display adapter to add the necessary video port for your dual monitor setup. While the USB adapters mentioned in the Advanced Office setup do the job quite well, a more advanced option is available if your computer is equipped with a Thunderbolt™ 3 connection. Thunderbolt 3 is an extremely high-speed bus that can be used for video displays, external drive connections, and more. If you have a Thunderbolt™ 3 connection, you will need probably need a USBC® hub with support for the Multi-Stream Transport (MST) feature, which allows you to run multiple display using a single USBC/Thunderbolt 3 connection.
Video Cables: The types of video cables you need depends on the video outputs on your computer and the video inputs on your monitors. Most newer computers have HDMI® or DisplayPort® video outputs, but older legacy systems may be equipped with VGA or DVI™ video outputs. A newer option is available on more advanced computers in the form of a USB-C®/Thunderbolt™ 3 port, which allows you to connect multiple displays, external drives, and other devices to a single port. The following images illustrate the main video interfaces.
HDMI DisplayPort VGA DVI USB-C/Thunderbolt 3
Headphones with Microphone: If you are working from home, you will probably be video conferencing or chatting with your team. Additionally, a good pair of over-the-ear headphones can isolate you from surrounding noise and chatter, which can be a problem in a work at home environment. Headphones with Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) are even better at eliminating unwanted outside noises, allowing you to maintain concentration and productivity.
Ethernet Cable or Wi-Fi Adapter: While an Ethernet cable allows you to physically connect to your broadband router, a Wi-Fi® connection allows you more freedom of movement and reduces the clutter from unnecessary wires and cables. Most broadband routers have a Wi-Fi access point built-in, but if not, you can easily add a Wi-Fi access point to your existing network. Similarly, most laptops already have built-in Wi-Fi, but for desktops that lack Wi-Fi, a low-cost USB Wi-Fi adapter allows you to establish wireless connectivity with a minimum of fuss.
Sit-Stand Desk or Desk Converter: Most ergonomic and productivity advisers recommend alternating both sitting and standing postures for improved blood circulation, wakefulness, and to break up the monotony of using only a single posture. A full sit-stand Desk with a large desktop is the ultimate solution, especially one that is electric powered with position memories to get the right position with the press of a single button. However, a more cost effective and portable solution is the use of a sit-stand desk converter, which allows you to adapt your existing desk for sit-stand options.
Surge Protector: Protect your equipment from transient voltage spikes and current surges by using a surge protector.
Locking File Cabinet: While military grade security isn't necessary for most work at home situations, many workplaces deal with confidential trade secrets and contacts, which should be secured when not in use. A locking file cabinet allows you to keep confidential material safe and secure at all times, whether you are in your home office or not.
Cable Management: Keep your home office looking neat and tidy by using cable management raceways or spiral wrap to hide cables or tie them into a neat bundle using zip ties or hook and look strips. Not only does cable management keep your home office looking good, it can improve safety by reducing tripping hazards presented by loose, unorganized cables.
Apple®, Mac®, OS X®, and Lightning® are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
HDMI®, the HDMI Logo, and High-Definition Multimedia Interface are trademarks or registered trademarks of HDMI Licensing LLC in the United States and other countries.
DisplayPort® and the DisplayPort® logo are registered trademarks of the Video Electronics Standards Association.
DVI™ is a trademark of the Digital Display Working Group.
USB Type-C® and USB-C® are trademarks of USB Implementers Forum, Inc.
Intel®, Thunderbolt™, Thunderbolt™ 3, and the Thunderbolt logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries.
Wi-Fi® and Wi-Fi Alliance® are registered trademarks of Wi-Fi Alliance.
AMD® is a registered trademark of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. in the United States and/or other jurisdictions. FreeSync™ is a trademark of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. in the United States and/or other jurisdictions.
Microsoft® and Windows® are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.