Extra home office to telecommute/ZOOM

VickiP Posts: 586 ✭✭✭✭

We had a problem due to stay at home orders. We both need to use the office, sometimes at the same time. We also have very limited funds, so what to do? It had to look professional as we ZOOM. It had to have it's own computer with web cam and needed to have privacy. We also live in a small house with no extra rooms as the one we had is now a food pantry. So we checked off what we already have, a 23" TV with wall mount we seldom use can be used as a monitor and one corner of the living room could be converted to a small stow away office. We ditched the side table and built a small desk base out of scrap lumber and used the leaf of our dining table as the top. Now I had to spend some money so I got a mini computer off Amazon for $139.00 it is about the size of a roku and can mount onto the TV, a $39.00 web cam/microphone that also mounts on the TV, and a $22.00 wireless keyboard mouse combo. We converted a closed off window over the desk into a bookshelf that the TV/computer can fold back into, the keyboard and mouse fit on the bottom shelf so the desk, when not in use can be used as a side table. The nicest thing about this arrangement is the main office and the new space are at opposite ends of the house so maintaining privacy is not a problem. We should be able to get it all pulled together tomorrow. I am really looking forward to using it. Has anyone else had to make adjustments to how they use their home to accommodate for Zooming or telecommuting or even homeschooling?


  • Karin
    Karin New ZealandPosts: 272 ✭✭✭

    @VickiP wow that is really enterprising and get use of lateral-thinking. When we were in lockdown, it was difficult as the room I usually use as an office was used by my daughter who had come home for lockdown, so I had to try and squeeze a desk and computer into a corner of the lounge, and a bookshelf for work files etc..... It made things very cramped!

  • Grounded
    Grounded Posts: 154 ✭✭✭

    I am not very technologically inclined and do not know the ins and outs of connecting all that you describe in your post. Our daughter and her fiance live in an efficiency apartment and use their laptops to attend meetings regularly. One uses the kitchen table and the other uses a dresser in their bedroom. When our daughter went to college many years ago, I tried adding components to have screen time with her, but I had to continually fiddle with the connections. When I last bought a computer, it was a laptop with a camera built-in, so, you can attend a meeting anywhere you can get wifi. I understand the finances component and applaud your ingenuity, but, used laptop computers are relatively cheap and you alleviate the connection issues you have with separate components. An additional bonus is the amount of room you save by only having one component the size of a filled mailing envelope.

  • VickiP
    VickiP Posts: 586 ✭✭✭✭

    I did consider a laptop, but we have vision problems and really need a bigger screen. Also some of what we do involves letter writing so having an extra dedicated space for that is a real bonus. All the components are plug and play I had it up and running in about thirty minutes, so not too bad.

It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.