Home office setups: The good, the bad, and the ugly of telecommuting

Millions of people are working from home as a result of the coronavirus. That said, home office setups range wildly from lavish ergonomic dream spaces to the bare necessities.

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Due to the coronavirus, millions of workers have been quickly transitioned from the standard workplace to the home office. Needless to say, the great work from the home experiment of 2020 is well underway with mixed results. Telecommuting at home comes with its own set of unique challenges, to put it delicately. Dedicating a space away from distractions, and finding a place with ideal lighting for video conferencing can be an arduous undertaking. Limited space in smaller apartments, or adding housemates to the equation only further complicates matters.

SEE: Photos: These 23 home offices show the good, the bad, and the ugly of remote work (TechRepublic)

Earlier this year, Shopify offered its employees a $1,000 stipend to assist with their home office setup. The so-called "one-time remote allowance" could then be used to purchase all of the accouterments of an ergonomic 21st-century remote workspace. Most of us, however, were not quite as lucky and instead have resorted to old fashioned ingenuity to adapt situationally. Those who have craftily festooned a standing desk of appropriate height with a series of boxes truly understand the struggle of this clunky transition.

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A standing desk for two. Ingenuity in action with splashes of color to boot. 

Image: Alex Davis.

No longer are our lumbar vertebrae supported by the mesh ergonomic cradle of our preferred office chair. The vast openness and maneuverability of our primo dual-monitor setup exists as a mere distant memory nearly one month into this awkward adjustment. Alas! At least telecommuters can seek solace in the warm digital embrace that is a virtual background capable of masking our impromptu home office setups. A heavily pixelated backdrop projecting a scenic tropical landscape concealing the fact that we are actually tuning in for the Zoom call in the kitchen.

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Bonus points for the solid pool flex. Although the pruney fingers could have a negative effect on typing accuracy.

Image: Dan Hoffman

It's interesting to ponder what kind of lasting cultural impact this grand experiment will have, especially with regard to our wardrobes. According to recent reports, clothing retailers are selling more tops than bottoms as consumers presumably can comfortably make due in a video chat with a button-down oxford and sweatpants. Regardless, we recently asked readers to submit photos of their home workspace setups as part of TechRepublic's version of "MTV Cribs." We've only included a small sampling in this article. Feel free to peruse the entire home office space gallery here.

Also see

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Vibrant style points for this space. 

Image: Mark Mohammadpour