How to Create the Perfect Desk Setup (Cable Management Hacks Included!)

Are you a small business owner or a solopreneur dreaming of creating the perfect workspace for yourself and your business but not sure where to begin? Maybe you already have a workspace, but it could use a bit of improvement. Embarking on the journey of small business ownership or solopreneurship often means you have to juggle various roles, and your workspace becomes the nucleus of your efforts. In this guide, we'll navigate through the intricacies of setting up a productive workspace that seamlessly blends functionality with a touch of inspiration.

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Earlier this year, we embarked on a journey to create the perfect workspace to run our small business, but we felt overwhelmed by the number of options for desks, lighting, and organizational solutions out there, especially those promising to finally free us from the tangled cable mess in which we found ourselves. We learned a lot through our research, and now we want to share our tips with you. We are not sponsored by any of these companies or products – these are just the products that we found and loved. However, please note that our Amazon links to products are affiliate marketing links.  

Desk Setup

Desk setup

Choosing the right desk may initially feel like a daunting task, but fear not! Factors you’ll want to consider while selecting a desk include available space, ergonomics, durability, style, and budget. It helps to jot down these factors in order of importance for you, allowing you to prioritize during your search, as compromises are inevitable. For our search, we prioritized ergonomics, durability, and budget.

  • Ergonomics: Ergonomic desks inject movement into your workday, often equipped with buttons for programming your preferred height, allowing comfortable transitions between sitting and standing. In our research, the top brands offering such desks were Uplift Desk and Autonomous. They provide a diverse selection of desks with customization options, allowing you to tailor your desk with features like adjustable height memory buttons and grommets, which facilitate easy cable management and the mounting of monitor or laptop arms. Our choice was the Uplift Desk with the reclaimed birch top, measuring 60 in. (152.4 cm) by 30 in. (76.2 cm). The ordering process was seamless, and it arrived within 5 weeks, complete with a variety of free accessories, including a wellness standing mat, pencil holder, desk caddy, and other items.
  • Durability: Affordable desk options often feature laminate surfaces, available at both Uplift Desk and Autonomous. However, be cautious, as some laminates may be prone to chipping. Our previous experience involved a black laminate desk which sustained damage when a laptop accidentally fell onto its surface, resulting in a large piece of the laminate chipping off. This hiccup narrowed down our choices, especially when eyeing those roomier desks that tend to rack up quite a bill. For a wallet-friendly workaround, consider purchasing the frame from these retailers, and then scout out a butcher block or wide plank at your local hardware store. The solution calls for a bit of hands-on effort, but the result is totally worth it.
  • Budget: Transitioning to the next topic – budget. If you’re not keen on searching for a desk top elsewhere, we’ve found that Uplift Desk consistently offers great deals and discounts, especially during holidays. Explore their clearance section for additional savings. Our customization experience helped us find two small desks that are perfect for limited spaces. One was a standing desk with a rubberwood top, measuring 42 in. (106.68 cm) x 30 in. (76.2 cm), for $599.00 USD. The second one was a desk with a similar top, measuring 48 in. (121.92 cm) x 30 in. (76.2 cm), for $669.00 USD. Both of these details accurate as of the time of this writing. Keep in mind that feature combinations in your desired desk size may not always align, but it’s worth checking out.

💡Tip: Desks with T-frames provide added support for larger desk/equipment weights, and dual motors enhance stability. Ensure desks are equipped with anti-collision detection, especially if you have little ones exploring beneath the desk or playfully engaging with lift buttons. Anti-collision sensors prevent the desk from colliding with objects or humans. 😊

Cable Management

For cable management, we opted for under-desk cable management trays that can be screwed to the bottom of the desk. Stick-on trays are an option, but they won’t do much to support heavy loads, especially if you need to store a lot of cables and power bricks in them. Given that our existing desk is 60 in. (152.4 cm) wide, we opted for three cable trays, each with a width of 17 in. (43.18 cm). We installed these trays underneath the desk, aligning them along its back edge. We also installed a 16-outlet surge protector power strip within the tray to ensure that we could easily plug in all the devices, and they could be more easily concealed. Ensure the power strip is strategically placed for convenient access. Additionally, if you have a standing desk, verify that the power strip cord is sufficiently long to accommodate movement, allowing for some slack as the desk adjusts its height.

💡Tip: Be sure to get reusable cable ties to help organize your cables.

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Monitor and Laptop Arms

With the introduction of a laptop arm, we’ve seen two major advantages. Firstly, it has greatly reduced neck strain by enabling us to adjust our laptop to eye level and position the monitor at the ideal angle. Secondly, it has freed up valuable desk space. The monitor stand, which occupied a considerable area, is no longer needed, making room for organizational accessories to neatly store small items. When selecting a laptop or monitor arm, it’s important to verify the weight and screen size capacity to ensure it’s compatible with your devices. Also, consider the installation method: whether you require an arm that fits through desk grommets or one that attaches to the desk’s back. In our case, we repurposed a monitor arm as a laptop arm, so we needed an additional stand attachment for the laptop’s placement. For the monitor arm, we opted for the Herman Miller Ollin Monitor Arm due to its extensive range of motion, which makes it easy to adjust the laptop to any preferred height.

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Lighting

While lighting might seem straightforward, often involving just a desk lamp, these can take up quite a bit of space and may not offer the flexibility to switch between warm and cool lighting. Additionally, a lamp usually lights up just one area. To address this, we chose a couple of lighting options. First, we chose the BenQ light, which clips onto the monitor and allows brightness adjustment and color temperature changes (cool to warm) via a desktop dial. Our second choice was the Philips Hue Play lights, positioned behind the monitor. These lights are fully customizable, from their color and brightness to their warmth or coolness, adding a touch of personalization to our workspace. Notably, they can help reduce eye strain by improving overall lighting. The Hue lights are also manageable via the smartphone app, allowing you to automate changes in brightness and color throughout the day. It’s important to note that the Philips Hue lights might need the Hue Bridge for network integration, which connects to a power source and your router. Another alternative to consider is the Govee Smart LED light bars, which offer similar features.

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Other recommended products:

Accessories

Our main focus for our workspace series has been around tech, but we did want to mention a couple of items that we found to be very functional and of good quality. We found our desk organizer and mouse pad at Grovemade. These accessories are made of premium natural materials and are very minimalist, allowing you to keep your desk clean and looking good.

Products we use:

Other recommended products:

Explore Our Workspace Setup Series

As you take on the task of redefining your workspace, remember – it’s a journey, not a destination. We hope you found our guide helpful. We shared our insights to help people create a productive workspace and build an environment that aids in focusing on growing your business. As you embark on crafting your ideal workspace, let our journey inspire yours. Feel free to explore our Instagram page for an in-depth look at our ongoing workspace setup series. Here’s to a workspace that not only fuels productivity but also sparks joy and creativity. Happy crafting!

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