Cover Work from home desk setups for maximum productivity (photo: Getty Images)

Upgrade your home office with these inspiring desk setups from some of the internet's leading productivity experts

Working from home during the Covid pandemic over the past year has presented a wide variety of challenges—from coping with childcare during school closures to managing work-life balance (because sometimes, doesn't it feel like instead of working from home, we're all just living at work?).

As we embark on a new year, consider treating yourself to a shift in mindset and a work space spruce-up, all aimed at improving WFH comfort and productivity. Here, we've rounded up some instructional videos, shopping lists, and tips from the internet's biggest names in productivity to help get 2021 started off right.

See also: Productivity tips for remote working

1. Cambridge Doctor Ali Abdaal

Ali Abdaal, one of YouTube's biggest up-and-comers in the productivity space, splits his time between running his own educational businesses, studying, filming and editing videos. His productive desk space must-haves include:

  • An electronically adjustable standing desk
  • A curved ultra-wide 49" monitor (his is from LG)

Why the big monitor? "It's basically like having two 27" monitors side-by-side," he says. "It's great for multitasking because then I can do a triple-window setup."

2. Software Engineer Maisy Leigh

Software engineer Maisy Leigh also recommends an ultra-wide monitor (hers is from Samsung). "It allows me to seamlessly work on code and design in parallel on one large curved screen," she says. "Prior to using this monitor, I used to have a dual monitor setup, but I learned that I prefer to have my work on one big screen, and the reason for this is because the experience of coding and designing, and even just watching videos on my monitor is more immersive."

Maisy also recommends:

3. Productivity Entrepreneur Thomas Frank

Thomas Frank has more than 2 million subscribers on YouTube and is one of the preeminent productivity gurus on the web. "There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to setting up your workspace," he says. "That being said, I think there are two main elements you want to consider when setting up your workspace: separation and isolation." He recommends setting aside a space in your home just for work, separate from other activities (and people) in the house.

Frank recommends gear including:

4. Design Educator Matthew Encina

Multimedia creator Matthew Encina's recommendations for a more productive workspace goes vertical, which is great for smaller home office spaces. He mounted a secondary storage unit on the wall over his desk. He also recommends:

  • A custom-made desk for your size needs and specifications (his is made from a repurposed countertop)
  • A MacBook Pro
  • Bluetooth speakers that are connected to multiple devices
  • A Bluetooth mouse and keyboard
  • An ultra-wide screen mounted on a monitor arm, to save desktop space
  • Hue app-controlled lights
  • A mounted DSLR camera and microphone for conference calls

5. Gear Expert David Zhang

Gear expert David Zhang is an avid tech pro and gamer. His setup incorporates work and leisure. He recommends:

6. YouTuber Caleb Pike

For something a bit different, and if you're a video maker or have a day packed with conference calls, consider Caleb Pike's desk set up, which is primed for video creation and editing, all in a relatively small desktop footprint.

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