It’s Time For A Lifehacker HQ Office Makeover

It’s Time For A Lifehacker HQ Office Makeover

It’s Time For A Lifehacker HQ Office Makeover Lifehacker’s publisher Allure Media has just moved into shiny new offices, which means I have a brand new desk and workspace to set up as efficiently as possible. While I’ve got a few ideas to explore (many of them based on stuff we’ve posted on Lifehacker in the past), I’m also keen for suggestions on how to make it both snazzier and more useful.

In our previous office, I always hot-desked to whatever seat was spare; we didn’t have a lot of spare space available because the company had expanded rapidly, and as someone who spent a lot of time on the road, having a permanent desk wasn’t a priority. But now I have got a dedicated seat for Lifehacker HQ, I’ve got the relatively novel experience of kitting it out from scratch.

As you can see from the picture above, right now my desk is a disgrace to the good name of organisation: visible cables tangled everywhere and no well-defined work zones. I’ll be looking to solve those problems as soon as possible, but I also want to make the space more obviously mine and a bit less grey.

I use a notebook which travels in and out of the office; other than that, and needing to keep my phone charged, there’s not a lot of equipment required. What would you do to make this a better workspace? What tricks have made your own workspace more efficient? Share your vision in the comments.


  • Does your laptop support a docking station?

    That is one good way to reduce some of the cable clutter, especially as most of the ones from the laptop manufacturer come with an extra power pack.

    If you have the power pack always connected then you don’t really need to have the powerboard on the desk anymore either… one more bit of clutter sorted.

  • I’ve never been one to have a super organised desk (especially when it comes to paper/forms in and out).

    In my last role doing project work, I was frequently out of the office with my laptop, either at meetings or working onsite. One major aspect of my desk set-up which was the most valuable to productivity was a docking station.

    Being able to dock and undock meant that I had all of the benefits of a USB keyboard and mouse, 20″ widescreen LCD, and network connectivity (we didn’t have WLAN) – all with a press of a button, instead of connecting half a dozen different cables.

  • Angus if it is going to be as close to “your” desk as possible, I would add a permanent monitor, extra keyboard, mouse, power cable etc and USB hub. I have done this for both home and office, all I have to do is grab the laptop and go nothing else to pack up or set up each day and you can then hide cables as you see fit.

  • As many other people have recommended adding a nice wireless keyboard and mouse, as well as a monitor does wonders when using a laptop at a desk. I have my laptop tucked in a compartment under my desk so it is completely out of my way. and all the cables are there too so there are no visible cables on my desk what so ever.

      • @Nick my desk is very small and I often need to spread out uni books, I find that having the space to work is worth not having the second monitor from my netbook. Also at the moment due to financial restrictions my primary computer is a Netbook, the screen does not add much real estate anyway.

      • @Nick, I’m with Emily on this one, even if you have a large desk, a notebook isn’t efficient for desk space when in addition to a LCD display + keyboard + mouse. Worse yet, in order to have it in a usable position, you have to place it in one of the most space-valuable positions on your desk: to the immediate left or right of your LCD monitor.

        As far as usability is concerned, even a good size 15-16″ notebook LCD display doesn’t hold a candle to having a 22″ LCD monitor. Sure having that extra 15-16″ gives additional screen real estate, but I’ve never found it ergonomic to have to look at different resolutions between the sized displays. This is particularly when the displays sitting at different heights, and adding a riser for the notebook eats up even more desk space again.

  • Seems pretty obvious, but mouse to the right, phone to the left (or vice versa for the lefties).

    A close shelf for readily available reference materials and work-in-progress; and a further shelf for the less often used stuff. (This reduces close-in clutter.)

    A drawer full of stationery products, usb sticks, etc. (Inc. stapler and spare staples.) (Inc. tools – small set of screwdrivers, needle nose pliers.)

    A couple of stress balls. (So many uses: squeezing, bouncing against wall, throwing to get someone’s attention while you are on the phone, throwing to irritate someone just for the hell of it, throwing at monitor when PC locks up.)

    A big pile of pens (for the office pen stealer), and spares in the stationery drawer. Buy these by the box.

    Cable ties for cables (duh), and other odd jobs.

    Water bottle. Check out spill proof ones at a baby shop. Water and keyboards don’t mix.

    And most important of all – the office cat. No office should be without one.


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