Oscar and his perfect home office setup: «It’s important for us to see and hear each other»
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Oscar and his perfect home office setup: «It’s important for us to see and hear each other»

Coya Vallejo Hägi
Zurich, on 01.03.2021
Translation: Veronica Bielawski
Oscar Martínez has put together what he calls the perfect home office. In addition to ergonomics and aesthetics, he wants his setup to create a feeling of closeness between him and his fellow human beings.

Oscar Martínez lives with his family in the town of Aarberg, located in the canton of Bern. Over the past few months, the 37-year-old has put together a home office setup fully equipped to his needs. He did so with painstaking attention to detail – a particular point of pride for Oscar.

It’s Tuesday morning. The native Mexican is cheerfully sitting across from me in his office chair. He’s about to give me a virtual tour of his home office. The filled whiteboard in the background, a rack full of coloured folders and the tidy USM desk make one thing clear from the start: productivity is the priority here.

«Rome wasn’t built in a day»

Oscar, who works in coaching and consulting, was used to working in an office. Then the pandemic hit. The virus took over everyday life, and Oscar had to stay home.

At that moment, he realised that how he works was being fundamentally redefined. «Time to invest in the ideal home office setup,» he thought to himself.

No sooner said than done. For months, Oscar stocked up on a mighty fine list of gadgets. Here’s what’s in his setup:

  1. Laptop
  2. Laptop stand
  3. Headphone stand
  4. Mouse
  5. Keyboard
  6. Soundbar
  7. Stream Deck
  8. Strip lights
  9. Ring light
  10. Webcam
  11. USB-C hub
  12. Screen
  13. Screen mount
  14. USB sound card
  15. Wireless charger
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But his impressive collection of office helpers didn’t come together in one fell swoop. «It’s been a long road, and I’ve tested more than one screen and stand,» Oscar explains. «After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.»

«I don’t know what I’d do without my Satechi hub»

At the core of his setup is an ergonomic screen mount. «The Ergotron mount is really where it all began. It allows me to participate in meetings sitting down or standing up.» After that, it was time take care of the laptop. In addition to the ergonomics of his at-home workstation, Oscar attaches great importance to having his work surface be as tidy as possible. «I just want my desk to have that clean look.»

And so, the cables had to bite the dust. To keep them as out of sight and out of mind as possible, he reached for a Satechi hub and some cable ties. «The Satechi hub is incredibly helpful if you’re after the clean look,» he says. «Come to think of it, I really don’t know what I’d do without my Satechi hub,» Oscar adds.

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Soon enough, his laptop wound up closed on his desk. «I realised that thanks to my huge Samsung screen, I didn’t even need the laptop to be open any more.» But what Oscar absolutely needed in light of his many meetings was a camera and microphone. He made sure to buy those, stat. «I want the people I work with to be able to understand me well.» Although the Logitech camera already has a built-in mic, Oscar got himself an extra one that clips onto his shirt collar.

To counteract the distracting backlight from the office window, Oscar also got himself a ring light that he positioned behind his screen. Every now and then, I catch a glimpse of its reflection in his glasses.

But according to Oscar, the ace of the nice-to-have gadgets in his setup is actually the Stream Deck. «I don’t play or stream online games, but I still think this gadget is absolutely great.» Oscar uses the little rectangular object to directly access clients he needs for his work via Microsoft Edge.

Simple actions like screenshots are also made easier. «The Stream Deck allows me to quickly and conveniently access the features I need.» Oscar’s quite insistent on having a wire-free setup. But the 37-year-old has grown so fond his Stream Deck that even he’s happy to put up with its cable.

Self-proclaimed Logitech fanboy

Oscar isn’t just enchanted by the Swiss countryside; the Swiss tech company Logitech has also taken the Mexican’s fancy. He especially raves about his MX Master 2 mouse. «My wife already has the MX3. To be honest, I’m super tempted to swipe the newest model from her.»

The ergonomic Logitech keyboard is also a staple of Oscar’s setup. «I love my keyboard,» he tells me, beaming into the camera.

In addition to coaching and consulting, Oscar sometimes does programming on the side. The hours spent at his old keyboard have been the cause of joint pain in the past. «Traditional keyboards simply don’t reflect our natural posture.» According to Oscar, his «weird version» may take some time to get used to – but it pays off in the long run.

More picture and sound!

Communication, interaction and interpersonal exchange are at the heart of Oscar’s everyday work. That’s also why – in addition to his love of gizmos and gadgets – the 37-year-old attaches great importance to his home office equipment. Oscar wants to be closer to the people he interacts with.

He advocates that everyone show up to meetings with their picture and sound enabled. «I think it’s extremely important to turn on your camera and microphone. It helps make the entire experience a little less unnatural.» He stresses, «It’s important that we all see and hear each other.»

When I ask how likely he thinks the state of emergency is to end, he’s rather sceptical. But while he doesn’t know what the future may hold, he’s convinced of one thing: «We have to use technology and coaching to bridge the disconnect between the virtual world and reality.» And his nifty home office setup certainly isn’t a bad place to start.

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Coya Vallejo Hägi
Coya Vallejo Hägi
Editor, Zurich
«I want it all! The terrifying lows, the dizzying highs, the creamy middles!» – these words spoken by an iconic American TV celebrity could have been mine. It's a take on life I also apply to my job. What does this mean in concrete terms? That every story has its charm; no matter how small, large, exciting or trivial. The more eclectic the mix, the better.

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