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Wassim Chegham
Wassim Chegham

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My Remote Office Tour: 2021 Upgrade Edition 🚀

2021 UPDATE:
The first version of this article was written in 2019. I've upgraded my setup since and decided to include the new hardware list below. Enjoy!

Hey friends,

Those of you who've been following my recent activity on Twitter already know that I am currently working from Home (for the last 6 years to be precise).

Working from home meant that I had to invest in a proper office environment. And since we just moved to our new apartment, this is something that I had to do anyway, and I had to literally start from nothing and buy everything. 

DISCLAIMER: Apart from my work laptop, every item described in this guide is a personal purchase!

As some of you had requested a few months back, in this post I'd like to share with you my journey into building my desk for my remote office with all the links to my equipment and some tip and tricks for the cable management part.

Let's start...

tl;dr (2019 list):
2021 Hardware Upgrade:

The desktop frame: FlexiSpot E2B

For the desktop panel, I had decided to buy a standing desk as I wanted to reduce my low back pain and give me the flexibility to work either sitting or standing. I chose the FlexiSpot E2B Height Adjustable Electric Standing Desk Frame.

FlexiSpot E2B

If you are curious to know how I managed to hack and control this desktop using my voice, you can read about my DIY project here:

The desktop top: Raw Beech panel

Next, for the desktop wood, I choose a nice all solid 170x70x4 cm raw Beech panel, which I ordered online. As a side note, the wood panel weighs more than 45Kg!

Raw Beech panel

The office chair: Herman Miller Embody

When it comes to the chair, and even if I had a standing desk, that didn't mean that I will not be sitting! I chose a custom made black and white Herman Miller Embody which a friend of mine had recommended me. I really don't regret it! The chair offers so many configurable parts and the seat and back surfaces automatically conform to your body's micro-movements.

"More than 20 physicians and PhDs in the fields of biomechanics, vision, physical therapy, and ergonomics contributed their expertise to help guide the development of this chair."

Herman Miller Embody

The monitor: LG 38UC99-W

Choosing a new monitor is always a tough choice. Thankfully, I knew exactly what I needed based on my daily use: Coding, Music production and photo editing. So, naturally, I choose the LG 38UC99-W curved widescreen. This beast is a 38" IPS panel with enough real estate to show up to 3 apps side by side, even though I'm always using 2 apps side by side most of the time. One of the remarkable things that this monitor offers is a USB-C port! We'll come back to this later...

LG 38UC99-W

See how curved is that monitor!

LG 38UC99-W

The monitor arm: Hx Desk Monitor Arm

The LG 38UC99-W is a great monitor, but it has one downside: it weighs 8Kg, which means that most monitor arms that you will find online won't support that weight. I have tried 2 of them and I had to return them! But just recently, I came across a brand called Ergotron. These guys make serious monitor arms. And I was super happy to finally find an arm that supports my LG monitor size and weight. I choose the Hx Desk Monitor Arm in white to match the color of the back of the monitor.

Hx Desk Monitor Arm

Audio and video equipments


Logitech BRIO 4K webcam

Working remotely means that I had to have a decent webcam for my meetings, or recordings. The built-in MBP camera wasn't an option for me (see why below). I did a quick bench of the currently available webcams in the market and simply chose the Logitech BRIO 4K webcam.

2021 Video Gears Upgrade

After using the BRIO 4K for a year, I started noticing some limitations. The BRIO was really bad in low light situations and I wasn't sure the BRIO was really delivering 4K on MacOS!

Sony Alpha 6400

Also, time had come for me to upgrade my D90 Nikon DSLR, and after a lot of researches, I decided to choose the Sony Alpha 6400 (with the kit lens 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6).

I also decided to use the Sony Alpha 6400 as my main webcam setup (when I am not shooting outside).

Sony Alpha 6400

Elgato CamLink 4K

One thing to note though, in order to use the Sony DSLR as a webcam, I also had to get the Elgato CamLink 4K to connect the camera to my computer.

Sigma 16mm f1.4

I love bokeh! And I wanted to get that aesthetic effect when using the Sony Alpha 6400 during my talks and calls. In order to accomplish this, the Sigma 16mm f1.4 len is one of the best options out there for Sony Alpha series. Also, since I am also using the camera as a webcam, having a super bright prime lens is mandatory!

profile wassim chegham

Elgato Key Light

For a great video experience, you need light. The Elgato Key Light is one of the best on the market. For a best result, having to light sources (a "fill" and a "key") is recommended.

Elgato Key Light

Elgato Multi Mount

In order to mount the camera behind my monitor, I got an Elgato Multi Mount. I also got an extra Elgato Multi Mount that I am using for other purposes, whenever I need to mount something somewhere. Pretty handy!

Microphone: Rode Procaster + Rode PSA1 + Rode PSM1

The built-in MBP mic wasn't an option for me neither (see why below). The BRIO mic was OK-ish. And I was looking for a more professional setup. So I tried 2 microphones, the Blue Yeti (USB), the Samson SAC01 C01, before deciding to choose the infamous Rode Procaster dynamic mic which in my opinion offers better performances and aesthetics. The mic is attached to the Rode PSA1 arm and the Rode PSM1 suspension shock mount.

Rode Procaster

Speakers: Yamaha HS 5 + Millenium BS-500 WH

The built-in MBP speakers weren't an option for me (see why below). As a music amateur, I needed decent office speakers. After doing some benchmarks and watched many youtube videos, I decided to choose the Yamaha HS 5 (two of them) in white with the Millenium BS-500 WH speaker stands. And I am happy with them.

Yamaha HS 5

As a side note, these speakers are not Stereo Speakers but Powered Studio Monitors. I choose these types of speakers because I am also starting learning about music production and they were perfect for the job, but that's maybe a topic for another article.

2021 Adition: Audio-Technica ATH-M50X

I am still pretty happy with the Yamaha HS 5 studio monitors. However, I decided to add proper headphones to my setup, and based on my needs, my obvious choice was the Audio-Technica ATH-M50X headphones!

Audio-Technica ATH-M50X

Sound Interface

Focusrite Scarlett Solo (2nd Gen).

The built-in MBP sound interface wasn't an option for me, for 2 reasons:

  1. My MBP is placed under my desk, so it's not convenient to use the audio output; and even impossible to use the camera or mic.
  2. The MBP doesn't offer the right inputs to host the Rode Procaster XLR input connectivity, neither the Yamaha HS 5 TRS output jack.

After watching a couple of product tests on Youtube, I choose the Focusrite Scarlett Solo (2nd Gen) which was enough for my needs.

2021 Upgrade: Motu M2

Here are reasons why I had to upgrade my audio interface:

  • The Motu M2 delivers ultra-low 2.5 ms Round Trip Latency.
  • The M2 is the only audio interface (in this price range) with a full color LCD for detailed level meters for all inputs and outputs.
  • The M2 driver provides loopback channels to my computer, so I can easily route computer output back to the computer, when streaming and podcasting.
Side note: DBX 286s

I got the DBX 286s mic pre-amp processor, but unfortunately it stopped working after 2 months of use. It was a very disappointing experience!

DBX 286s


All right! Now comes the hot topic. Unbelievably, I have spent months trying A LOT of mechanical keyboards (5 to be precise) until I found the perfect one for me.

I am not going to do a full review of these keyboards in this post. However, you can easily find many reviews on YouTube, for each keyboard. So, I have tried (from top to bottom):

Keyboards wassim chegham

2021 upgrade:

IQUNIX F96 Peach & Coral Sea

I had a chance to try out few new keyboards since I first wrote this article in 2019. My new favorite keyboard brand is IQUNIX.

Alt Text

I happen now to be using the IQUNIX F96 Peach (and its variant Coral Sea). I hear you asking which key switch I am using; well that didn't change, Cherry Blue – ALL THE TIME!

Alt Text

Cable management

When it comes to cable management, this was my number 1 top priority. Instead of explaining how I did it, A picture is worth ten thousand words:

Cable management

Yes! That's my MacBook Pro 2019 (the most expensive piece of this setup!) hanging out under my desk. But trust me, it's well tightened to the desk panel using 3 small hooks. To be clear, the MBP is really just hanging out under the desk, it's not mounted and I can easily slide it out and take it at any time when I need to go out!

The MB Pro is powered by this single USB C Thunderbolt 3 cable (connected to the back of the LG 38UC99-W monitor). This means that I am using only ONE cable to connect both the external display and power the MB Pro.

All the other external peripherals are connected to the back of the monitor through the Anker USB 3.0 hub:

If you are wondering what's that skin, I am using for my MB pro.

The other cables are also managed and go through a dedicated rail. See for instance the audio interface:

Other accessories

Nanoleaf Canvas


Elgato Stream Deck

If you are an avid streamer (I am not!), then the Elgato Stream Deck is a great gadget to have in your toolkits!

Side note: GoXLR

I thought it was a good idea to get the GoXLR, which is a broadcaster platform with 4-Channel mixer, motorized faders, sound board and vocal effects. I unfortunately had to return the product right away because I found out that TC Helicon had no intention to support MacOS!


Corsair Scimitar RGB Elite

I also had to upgrade my mouse setup, and got the Corsair Scimitar RGB Elite mouse that features 12 side buttons for custom macros and buttons remaps. Not only super handy for gaming, but also for developers' productivity!


Here you can find my Amazon (France) list I created with every single item I bought for my desk (office), including cables, lights, decorations, adapters... even the footrest!

That's all for me. See you in 2020 for another desk setup tour 😂


Top comments (45)

rbuitragoc profile image
Rick Buitrago

Not sure if someone already asked you about this, and risking a bit sounding obvious: why a Macbook and not a Mac Mini (provided you're simply not using either the keyboard or the retina display of the actual laptop computer). Everything looks so crisp that I wouldn't move away from the home office at all! Thanks!

dpashutskii profile image
Dmitrii Pashutskii

Or new Mac Pro which is even more powerful

wassimchegham profile image
Wassim Chegham

Part of my role as a developer advocate involves traveling and meeting developers at different events and conferences. It's easy for me to just grab my MBP from under my desk.

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dpashutskii profile image
Dmitrii Pashutskii

That makes sense. I thought it's unremovable, that's why it surprises me.

ajarzebowski profile image
Andrzej Jarzebowski

Great setup. You are saying that you bought webcam, mic and speakers because your MBP was mounted below desk. You know that you could save all that money by simply putting laptop on the desk right? Just admit that you wanted the best stuff for the sake of it :) One question that I have is what headphones are you using? Speakers during Slack/Skype call are not the best solution.

wassimchegham profile image
Wassim Chegham

What's the purpose of building an office setup at home if you can't get the best stuff? Putting the laptop on the desktop is worthless for me since I don't interact with it. I only use it for its computing power. Also, I do music production and some recordings so using the built-in webcam and sound card wasn't compatible with my setup (speakers+mic).

For meeting, I just use the mic and the speakers. I do rarely use headphones, but when I do m I use the Parrot Zik 3 ones. Yep, I like bass ;)

Sloan, the sloth mascot
Comment deleted
boiledbuns profile image
Richard Wei

I genuinely feel very sorry for you if you believe the two are mutually exclusive.

homberocom profile image

Surely, you've heard of separation of concerns.

sherribooher profile image
Sherri Booher

Thanks for sharing this setup! I really love (and hope to purchase one day) those Yamaha monitors. They are definitely a beauty, and I'm sure they sound amazing! Thanks for sharing the Keytron (now Keychron) keyboard...I just went online and ordered one. They were out of stock :( so it won't ship for a couple of weeks, and then I have to wait on it to arrive from Hong Kong. So, thanks for the recommendation on the keyboard!

humaknlght profile image
Eric Perret

I would expect your MBP to start overheating if your doing something computationally expensive. When the MBP is in the closed position it will cover up some of the heat vent. Did you do anything to combat this?

samvloeberghs profile image
Sam Vloeberghs

I have been doing heavy work with my laptop closed and on the desk and it can cool down enough trough the back.

leandrofinger profile image
Leandro Finger

Amazing!! Thanks a lot for sharing this.

vicoerv profile image

aren't your eyes hurt work with huge monitor in that distance?

wassimchegham profile image
Wassim Chegham

Not at all. I'm sitting at the recommended distance.

vicoerv profile image

do you always working with less lamp?

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wassimchegham profile image
Wassim Chegham

Sometimes during the night. And only when I am not coding nor writing.

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vicoerv profile image


j_mplourde profile image
Jean-Michel Plourde

wow! Ton bureau est tout simplement incroyable. Je comprends le besoin de le mettre parfaitement à ta main, après tout tu y passes des heures et des heures chaques semaines. Je serais heureux en tout points d'utiliser un espace de travail comme le tiens. J'espère avoir quelque chose d'aussi génial un jour.

chin7an profile image
Chintan Patel

This is an awesome setup, but that MBP mount makes me nervous. Might I suggest/plug a video from one of my favourite youtube channels -

It should be possible to mod his technique to mount your laptop under the desk instead of the wall. Gives you the same clean setup, with the added benefit of disconnecting the laptop easily.

seankearon profile image

Storing the computer under the desk - pure genius!

wassimchegham profile image
Wassim Chegham

Thank you 😊

carlillo profile image
Carlos Caballero

It is very inspiration!

k_penguin_sato profile image


andrasbacsai profile image
Andras Bacsai

Awesome setup!

The link for the monitor is incorrect.

wassimchegham profile image
Wassim Chegham

Fixed. Thanks.

kressentolm profile image

Hubba hubba to this setup. I really need to upgrade mine!

giorgiobertolotti profile image
Giorgio Bertolotti

Okay, THIS is a premium setup! 😂
Good job!