When nationwide lockdowns began in March of 2020 and we were told to work from home ‘indefinitely,’ I naively thought the global pandemic would blow over in a couple of weeks. I barely cleared out my desk, only taking the main items I needed to work remotely (laptop, power cord, headphones… actually, that was about it).
As you may have guessed, I wasn’t fully prepared for working from home full time. Though I already had an office with a beautiful mid-century teak desk, the accompanying chair is made of wood and wicker. That got uncomfortable real fast. So, one of the first upgrades I made was a new, more comfortable office chair.
Regardless of how comfy my office chair is, it doesn’t compare to my standing desk I had at the office. I’d work for hours at a time from a standing position – sometimes only sitting when at a meeting. So, I resorted to re-downloading the Stand Up! app that I used before I had a standing desk at work. Every 30 minutes, the app pings my phone and tells me to stand up. It’s a great app and I highly recommend it, but I admit it’s annoying to get those notifications throughout the day.
One thing I enjoy about working from home is listening to music without headphones. My Bose computer speakers produce decent sound for streaming Spotify and for virtual meetings. But eventually, I moved my turntable and Klipsch speakers into the office. Once I upgraded the speakers to include a 240-watt subwoofer, my work-from-home situation was forever changed!
Ask any audiophile why they prefer vinyl records over their streaming service of choice and they’ll go on and on about how vinyl records sound better. But it’s true! A good turntable set up will produce a near-perfect listening experience; allowing you to hear every note and every instrument on the album, exactly as the artist meant for it to be heard. Vinyl records produce a warmer, richer sound that you simply can’t get with digital audio files – streamed or not.
Besides the overall superior listening experience one can get from vinyl records over any other format, I also just love the active nature of selecting an album and getting it cued up on the turntable. I have a ritual I go through after choosing which album to spin. I pull out the album, remove the dust cover, gently place it on the slip mat, use the little velvet brush to remove any dust on the record, and then ease the stylus onto the disc. I even take a moment to admire the album cover before displaying it on a little shelf above my turntable.
All these actions make me appreciate the music more and I feel better connected to the listening experience than when I’m just mindlessly playing something on Spotify.
Now, back to the point of this post… one thing I noticed soon after I started working from home full time was how much less I moved throughout the day. No traversing the building for a meeting or taking a quick lap during a bathroom break. But now that I listen to my records every day, I’ve been easing off my Stand Up! app. I still use it, but I’ll often shut it off for the day if I plan to keep the vinyl spinning. Why? Because every 20 minutes, I need to get up, walk across the room and either flip the record over or throw something else on.
If you want to instantly improve your work-from-home situation, get a turntable. You’ll be listening to higher-quality music and you’ll be more active throughout the day as you get up to flip over the record. Of course, that last part is assuming you keep your turntable on the other side of the room and not within arm’s reach of your desk. Ask anyone new to working from home what they miss most from being away from the office and they’ll likely tell you they miss seeing their coworkers and all the little things that happen throughout the day. And I couldn’t agree more. I look forward to face-to-face meetings and chatting about life outside the office, but for now, I’ll keep enjoying my incredibly short commute, spending more time with my dog, and spinning vinyl records all day long.