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Working from home: My Home Office Setup

I work a lot from home, due to the COVID-19 outbreak some asked me about my setup. To be honest: Nothing fancy!

My Home Office
My Home Office

Here is my basic overview:

  • WINI Desk (Recycled from an old office location)
  • Comforto office chair (The same one like we have in the Office)
  • Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch)
  • Apple Thunderbolt Display (27-inch)
  • Apple iPad Pro (10.5-inch) to surf the web and as second screen for my Mac
  • Poly Elara with a Plantronics Voyager UC (Bluetoth) Headset
  • Plantronics Savi 8200 Office Series (great DECT Headset)
  • Yealink T55A (Just a test device)
  • TaoTronics Desklight (LED)
  • Logitech Conference Cam (Sometimes I like this more then the FaceTime HD Camera in my monitor)
My MTR Monitor and iPad (2nd Screen)
My MTR Monitor and iPad (2nd Screen)

Really nothing fancy! You don’t really need expensive or fancy equipment to work from home.
In my opinion there are a few things that you need to do, to make it better:

  • Video first! Enable the Camera whenever possible! Why not? If you go to a real meeting you see the other as well, right?
  • Use a solid collaboration platform! (I use Microsoft Teams since day one, Slack or other might so the job for you)
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate! Honestly: If you have a distributed team with a lot of remote workers, this is the key. Otherwise you might loose contact
  • Have an Office day schedule! Something I have to work on. Work at home like you would do in the office. I do, but in the wrong timezone
  • Plan some real breaks to get away from your desk. In regular office locations there is a lunch break. If you are home alone, this might not be the case. But you still need a break from work, from time to time. (And this is the: Do what I tell you, and not what I do thing)
  • If you are not alone at home, you need to have a real door! Trust me, you need that and you should use it
  • Don’t work too much, just because you are at home! Many (me included) work much more and longer at home than in a regular office environment. I don’t need to catch a train to commute home, no one is leaving (also a trigger for many)
  • Don’t quarantine yourself (unless you might have to)! Leave your desk, leave your home. Some (me included) tent to do too much if they are working from home. Plan your day, and also plan the end of your workday.

Some might ask: Why the Plantronics Savi as an additional Headset if I have an Plantronics Voyager UC with my Elara? The answer is easy: The Savi is a DECT headset, that gives me more range. And It’s attached to my Yealink desk phone and my Mac. I use the Elara mostly for my iPhone and to listen to some music (Yes, the headset is good enough for that)!

Microsoft Teams Rooms System (MTR) Screens
Microsoft Teams Rooms System (MTR) Screens

In addition a also have a bit more test equipment now:

  • HP Elite Slice Gen 2 (32GB RAM and 512GB SSD) as Hyper-V Test Server
  • HP Microsoft Teams Rooms System (based on an HP Elite Slice Gen 2)
  • Logitech Rally Plus (as Audio Video solution for my Microsoft Teams Rooms System)
  • Two (2) Samsung the Frame 49″ (attached to my Microsoft Teams Rooms System)
  • Barco ClickShare CS-100

The Microsoft Teams Rooms System (MTR) is mainly a test device, but I use it on a regular base to host or join Teams Meetings! At least for now.

We decided to use the Frame in the Office, so I choose the same (but smaller) model for my test setup. And I like them a lot! But I don’t use the smart TV functionality, they are just monitors in my case. They are not even attached to anything else.

I need the second HP Elite Slice to run a few Hyper-V machines (testing and development related stuff).

I dumped my old HP Server a while ago, cause most of my Server workloads are located in the cloud (mostly AWS now and some Azure). But I do have a Beelink mini PC running Windows Server 2016 as a local Domain Controller and NPS instance (Also only for testing).

I use a lot of Ubiquiti Networks UniFi Equipment as Wireless access points and as switches. At home, I have an 8 port POE Switch (US‑8‑150W). This switch powers 3 access points (1 UAP‑AC‑PRO and two (2) UAP-AC-IW-PRO) and my Yealink desk phone.
I still use a Ubiquiti Networks USG as Firewall and VPN (Client) Router (I have a permanent link from my home office to our Office). But I think I will replace that with a UniFi Dream Machine.
I have a similar Quality of service (QoS) setup like we have it in our Office.

I still search for a monitor replacement, my Apple Thunderbolt Display is old. I have the same one in my office, and both are still doing a great job.

I do have a (very) old Samsung 23-inch monitor as an emergency solution for my Windows systems, but I really use as an emergency solution, if I need to access the bios, or something happens during the boot process.

I had to move my old Mac Mini Server to our office, to replace a defect one there. Since then I have no more local caching unit in place. Something I need to address soon. All my Apple devices are downloading all the updates directly now.

Published inHowTo