REMOTE WORK - My Home Office Setup
Updated: Apr 5, 2020
This seems to be one of the hot topics recently. I thought I'd share my complete setup of equipment and services. I have been working remotely from home for several years, servicing clients from all over the world. Nice gig if you can get it.
My typical day consists of working on my software projects, having conference calls and screenshares with my clients, and organizing my work and admin. It all goes pretty smoothly thanks to the awesome tools I use.
A two monitor workstation. Nothing fancy. I build software, so most often on one screen I am doing the development work, and on the other I'm rendering and testing it in the live app. Once you go with two monitors, you'll never go back.
Samson Meteor USB Condenser Microphone
Great mic for everyday use. Definitely not a high end one, but it works just fine, and much better than what may come with your computer or webcam. Looks cool too. Got it for about ~$45 on Ebay.
Logitech C920 HD Pro Webcam + an 8" Ring Light
One of the best basic webcams available before getting into more advanced DSLR cameras. Perfect for conference calls when you want a video stream of yourself. I also do YouTube explainer videos, and this works well with those. ~$70. If you want to greatly improve your video quality, use the ring light ... got a no-name brand one for $15.
OK, that's about it for equipment, no need to get into computers or monitors, we all have those. The above are a few must-have's to up your game. But the real work horses for your remote environment are the software tools for communicating and coordinating with your team members. Note: I am not an affiliate with any of these services.
Video Conferencing and Screensharing
zoom.com and uberconference.com are the two I use most often, although there are plenty of others to be found. These are the backbone of my client interactions, and I use them multiple times each day. I have only used the free versions, even for my international conferences. Skype is another one as it does more than just phone calls, and I am starting to use that a little more.
Team Communication (other than phone or conferencing)
slack.com Think of this as a chat room for your whole company, or department, or other team, designed to replace email as your primary method of communication and sharing. It can be a little addictive. Microsoft Teams includes something similar, but I have never tried it. If you are not using something like this now, chances are you will be sometime in your future.
Project Management Platforms
I use both asana.com and trello.com, depending on the client. They both exist in the highly competitive space of project and task management software. A couple other big ones are monday.com and basecamp.com. Teams create projects, assign tasks and deadlines, communicate, and upload related documents. Reminders are sent and progress is displayed visually. If you are working remotely with multiple team members, and want everyone to be on the same page, bite the bullet and learn a system like one of these.
Screen and Video Recordings
If you haven't checked out loom.com, do so. You'll be glad you did. It is for screen recordings, and is ridiculously quick and easy to use. It's great for explaining something to a colleague, fast, without having to compose an email. Record yourself while you are recording the screen, to add that in-personal touch to your correspondence. You'll get hooked using it, and its free version does quite a bit.
Well, that is my setup. Good luck with your new remote work life, and after we all get through what's going on, a lot of this new stuff we are working with will be sticking around. Thanks.