Project WFH – Ideas, wishes and uses.

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With many people working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic, I’ve been having a think about the possibility of doing a small part of my job from home, even one day a month and what kind of set up I’d need for that and thought I’d share my ideas with you.

Whilst 95% of my day job needs to be done in the hospital environment, not least because I still have patient interaction, packages to sort and post to patients and devices to programme, the 5% of scheduling remote monitoring downloads and other ‘administrator’ bits I do, could be done from home. 

Add that in, along with the creative work I do for charity and clients, the radio programmes I voice-track and the general everyday stuff I do on the computer at home, this set up needs to be pretty flexible. 

I envisage my WFH set-up to be based around the creative work I do, with a little nudge in the right direction for the day job bits, should I ever WFH with that. Whether I buy these items new or find second hand alternatives on Facebook Marketplace remains to be seen, but this is a project I’m keen to get going before the end of the year.

If you can think of anything I’ve missed, or indeed recommend alternatives to the products listed below, then be my guest, drop me a comment!

Computer Screen

I currently have a 13inch, 2017 MBP and it still works just as good as it did back then, but if I’m going to be serious about this, then ideally I’d like a separate monitor. Not least, because the monitor size on the laptops we get from work are much smaller than 13inch and I can’t fit everything on that screen.

So, I’m opting for the AOC 24B1XH Full HD 23.8” LED Monitor. It’s standard and I think will do what I need to to do nicely. With a HDMI port and a classic VGA port, I can connect my MBP up via HDMI and my work laptop up via VGA (That’s how old the laptop is!).

Who knows, if I’m feeling really keen and get an iPad, I could side-car my iPad to my MBP and have two monitors that way… 

Accessories

I’m going to need a keyboard and mouse – because I’m not keen on being one of those that uses the keyboard on the laptop, to me, that’s just awkward. So of course, I’m opting for Apple’s Magic Keyboard and mouse. I actually think I’ll get these off Marketplace instead of buying them outright. Unless of course, anyone from Apple reads this and wants to send me some ‘to test’. They’re also compatible with Windows too, I’m told, so ideal for the work laptop.

Going to also need somewhere to store my MBP safely, so I’m opting for this from TwelveSouth.

For my radio work, I’m looking at investing in this simple USB Microphone from Amazon. It’s almost half the price of the Rode NT-USB, but then I do think if I’m spending this much money on my creative set-up, then I should probably make the same investment into the microphone.

The Chair

I need a proper chair too, sitting on the dining table chair all day or for hours on end really takes its toll. Nothing fancy, but I’m looking at the Argos Home Egonomic Office Chair – Grey. I mean, it’s a chair that tilts back, standard – and whilst it’s £160, that’s what the Argos card is for, right?

The Desk

We currently live in a flat and at the moment, as seen from the featured image, my ‘desk’ is actually the dining room table. It’s not ideal that’s for sure. So the desk I’m looking at right now is this from The Range, the Lexington 3 Drawer desk. I do have a feeling it’s not going to be big enough to fit the monitor, microphone and other desk accessories on mind, but it does match the theme of the room/flat perfectly! 

Wishlist

Then we get onto the things that I’d quite like, but I’m in no rush to buy. They won’t make any difference in my desk set up, they’re just, nice additions for one day…

Apple HomePod (I’d probably sell my Google Nest Hub)

iPad Air/Pro

A plant (Not a real one, I had one of those, despite the fact I watered it, it died).

Share your ideas, thoughts and help me out!

So, let’s see how far I get with this WFH project. I’m in no rush, but I’d like to start getting bits and pieces sooner, rather than later whilst we are in this flat, then, should we move (we’re looking to move at least), it can grow and expand further!

Any comments, tips, or suggestions about the above, or things I may have missed, hit me up in the comments below!

2 Responses

  1. I think this is a great analysis of the requirements for the new normal! Thankfully I had already purchased a two-people desk from IKEA which has enough room for all my gadgets (and mess…). It also fits another person should two of us require to work from home.
    I’m on a borrowed laptop from work. Although it’s a 17 inch screen, the distance between this and the keyboard isn’t ideal. So I’m looking at getting a laptop stand and a separate keyboard (already had a bluetooth mouse that really helps!). This would avoid the expense of getting a separate screen/desktop. I do however have a second screen, borrowed from work, which helps when I need to work on multiple windows. So I totally agree that is a much needed option for our type of work. An iPad might work as an extension indeed… however, as I work on a MS environment, I tend to use my iPad for other work, and not necessarily as an extension. Something to think about if you’re not on a pure iOS environment.
    What I am lacking and 100% agree with you on is the office chair. I have a lumbar support on a normal chair but it just isn’t the same!
    Great analysis as usual, Ian.

    1. Thanks Cristiana – and sorry for my late reply, I need to learn to check out the comments section more often!
      I’d love to see a photo of your desk! I’ve found one on Amazon that I’m interested in that has a big work surface and some shelving. iPads work as a second screen between MacBooks, thanks to Apple’s SideCar feature, but because I work in Windows with the day job, I’d look at getting that screen so I can utilise it for my Mac and the small, awful, Dell laptop we have for work. Though, I do think my job would be 100% more productive using MacOS… I’ve genuinely asked and it was quietly ‘refused’, haha! The chair is still something I need to look for, Argos have sold out of the one I wanted!

      Thank you for your kind words!

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