Putting Together the Perfect Software Developer Office

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Remote work has proven beneficial for many developers: no commuting, more flexibility, silence, fewer distractions, heightened concentration. According to Terminal’s 2022 State of Remote Engineering, 68% of developers consider that they are able to get more meaningful work done from home than at the office, 64% have a better work-life balance and 48% feel less stressed. One of the aspects that factors into a productivity boost is having the right software developer office setup.

Web development can be a difficult job. Finding the exact line of code with a mistake can be frustrating, requires concentration, and sometimes devs spend hours in the same position. Not having the right software developer office can be strenuous and have serious physical and mental consequences over time.
Arranging a comfortable, suitable workspace at home can be tricky, so to help you navigate the choices and find the software developer desktop setup that works best for you, consider our recommendations below.

First Things First: the Space

Before even thinking about furniture, you need to find the perfect spot for your home office. You will spend hours in your programmer office setup, so make sure you have space. Don’t squish in a corner to save room.

If you don’t have a spare room to put in your home office, you need to get creative. Whether it’s a corner in your kitchen, in the space next to the stairs, in a large, empty closet, or the formal dining room, there are many different spaces you can easily use as your software developer home office setup. Just make sure to consider:

  • Noise levels: traffic flow can be a serious complication, especially if you have meetings or prefer to work in silence.
  • Light: natural light is a great motivator. It will help reduce eye strain and headaches. Make sure there will be no glare on your monitor. Unless you get easily distracted, having a view is always a good idea, so consider placing your desk next to the window.
  • Privacy: having a door is the best way to avoid external noises and distractions, especially if you have a lot of meetings and want to prevent people from appearing behind you. If you don’t have an additional room, you need to find other ways of cutting distractions as much as possible. Privacy dividers or curtains can help achieve a similar effect.

You need to have a specific area set up as your software developer office, whichever place you choose. Moving around does have its appeal, but since developers tend to have quite a bit of equipment, having to reset your office every time may not be efficient or comfortable.

10 Software Developer Office Essentials

Even though there isn’t a best setup for programming, software developers agree that several different items are key whenever you are putting together a home office.

1. Desk

This is the cornerstone of many offices and often gets overlooked. However, software developers need to pay special attention to desks for home office setup. After all, they will probably spend most of their day in that space, working on that desk.

There are many types of desks in the market, from the traditional simple wooden desk to L-shaped desks, standup desks, adjustable desks.  You can even have desks great for multitaskers or people who enjoy movement while they work: exercise desks (exercise bike desks, treadmill desks). However, this last type of desk tends to have very little room for more equipment, so you may want to think it through before adding it to your programming office setup.

2. Ergonomic chair

As we mentioned before, you will spend a lot of time sitting, so to avoid hurting your back or moving around because you feel uncomfortable after a while, buying a good, reliable, comfortable chair should be a priority in any software developer office.

If the chair isn’t as comfortable as you would like, a seat cushion may do the trick.

3. Monitor(s)

Today, it is practically impossible to have a software engineer desk at home and not have a monitor (or monitors, depending on the space you have available) on your desk. It’s a great way of releasing tension from your neck and working in an upright position, reducing the chances of having back pain.

A monitor arm or mount can also be a great tool to help reduce the space the monitor takes in your desk.

4. Laptop Stand

In the same way, an arm monitor and a laptop stand can help release the tension from your neck and back. You can put it more at eye level, use it as a second monitor instead and work more comfortably.

5. Mouse & Keyboard

The mousepad on your laptop can be pretty uncomfortable when you are programming: they are small rather impractical, and if you are using a laptop stand, it can promote tendinitis, which is never good for anyone.

Having a mouse and keyboard can reduce your chances of developing pain in your tendons, plus it can be easier to move around the screen and use shortcuts. Make sure you get a comfortable mouse with all the functionalities you need as well as a solid, reliable keyboard.

6. Headphones

Whether you concentrate better listening to music or prefer a quiet environment, a good pair of headphones is critical for any good software developer home office setup. Remote workers have meetings almost every day, which means you need a solid, reliable pair of headphones to communicate effectively.

If your home office is located in a more open space, noise-canceling headphones may be the best choice for you.

7. Power Strip & Cable Organizer

So much equipment is bound to produce tons of cables. For this reason, keeping them together and organized in the most efficient way possible will make sure you have no electrical issues and help you avoid stepping on any cables. Also, if any of the wires are not working correctly, an organizer can help you identify them quickly and change them.

8. Multi-Port Hub

Most computer programmer desks have several pieces of equipment and other types of devices, which means a lot of cables in different sizes and ports. Depending on your computer, the number of ports available will probably be less than the number you need, and this can easily be solved with a multi-port hub.

More often than not, your devices may connect with a port not available on your laptop, and you’ll need a hub where to plug them in.

9. Portable storage

Software developers work with dozens of documents from different projects simultaneously, filling up the hard drive pretty quickly. Portable storage options are a great way of avoiding this issue. They are reliable (although fragile, so be sure to handle them with care) and easily store thousands of gigabytes of data.

10. Desk Lamp & Desk Organizer

This might seem like a given, but having the correct type of light around your home office space is vital to work efficiently, as is having all the necessary tools at hand. There are different types of lamps you can go for, depending on the size of your desk and how much space you have, and you can choose from a wide range of organizers. You can even hang them from your wall to avoid using desk space.

Aside from this software developer office, several other gadgets can be very helpful and improve your working environment. Some of our favorites are:

  • USB mug warmer
  • stress ball
  • plants
  • speakers
  • wireless phone charger
  • multi chargers
  • lapdesk
  • printer
  • coffee station
  • anti-fatigue mat
  • clue light blocking glasses

Final Tips

When it comes to home office setup, software developers have a wide variety of options and designs available, so make sure to consider your specific needs and wants.

Regardless of which items you choose when coming up with your programmer office design, always make sure to prioritize comfort and don’t be afraid of investing in yourself and spending some extra dollars on premium quality products.

By putting together an office you feel comfortable in and have access to equipment and gadgets that can make your job easier, you can improve your productivity and be an even better professional. Learn more about this in our article “How to Manage Your Time Working from Home.”