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Setting Up a Home Office for Remote Work

Whether you plan to telecommute during the holidays or your full-time job is remote, setting up a home office for remote work can be a challenging endeavor.

Which computer do you use? Do you need a smartphone for daily tasks? Is your setup portable for work from home and the coffee shop?

VirtualPBX COO Lon Baker has refined his workstation to keep him productive at home and on the go, both inside the VirtualPBX Phone System and outside to other digital mainstays like Slack and Google Docs. Today’s blog highlights his personal work setup so you can make your own office equally as fitting.

List of Devices

Here’s a brief list Lon’s workplace devices and some descriptions of their uses:

  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max for remote work
  • Google Pixel 3a for backup and development
  • 12.9″ iPad Pro with LTE for most work
  • 15″ MacBook Pro for macOS and Windows Product Development
  • Apple Magic Mouse
  • Apple AirPods and Ear Buds
  • Anker Dual USB-C Charger
  • Joby GripTight Pro TelePod Tripod
  • Roost Laptop Stand

Lon Baker Workplace Devices Layout

An Interview With the COO

Lon answered a few questions about his chosen devices and his daily work routines. When setting up a home office for remote work with your own company, his considerations could be useful for your own situation.

What is the primary reason you use this combination of digital devices?

“I want an office setup that gets me through the entire workday. It also needs to be portable so I can take it anywhere.

“I work from home most days. But I also travel frequently and work from my car, the airport, coffee shops… Each of those locations have different demands.

“My tablet, computer, and smartphone all have data connections so I don’t have to worry about finding Wi-Fi. And their battery life is great. I can work all day without a problem.”

How does this setup differ from your setup five years ago?

“The biggest change is that I don’t have to carry a typical computer. I have the MacBook, but I use my iPad and iPhone for most work.

“I can throw them into my backpack at a moment’s notice while remaining accessible to the VirtualPBX team.

“The tablet is great for holding presentations in meetings. I can use it to take notes quickly with its pencil, and I can easily work on documentation, answer emails, and complete product development.”

How do you make use of the tripod?

Setting up a Home Office for Remote Work - Lon Baker Tablet and Smartphone on Tripod“This was one of the biggest challenges in setting up my home office for remote work. I was frustrated with the quality and orientation of video that was coming out of my laptop, and I wanted something better.

“The quality of smartphone cameras are excellent and often better than what you find in a laptop webcam. I can use my phone in the tripod to show my face clearly and get the video quality I want.

“It’s a benefit for me and my team. I have meetings every morning, so my team can see me, and I can sit tall and see my own orientation in the phone’s screen.

“This also works well for video conferences with anyone outside the company. I just clip my phone into the tripod.”

What’s the biggest intangible benefit to your remote work setup?

“There is a freedom that I didn’t have before. I don’t feel trapped at home because I wouldn’t be able to find Wi-Fi or because my battery wouldn’t last.

“I can be connected all the time. I always have my phone with me, and my other devices easily fit into the same bag as my cycling gear.

“My big outdoor activity is endurance cycling. My phone is there if I need it in the middle of a bike ride. Then when I return, everything else is accessible for short updates or longer meetings.”

What do you want for the future of your remote work?

“With the exception of the tripod, my current setup is about two years old. It’s great.

“The only elements that hold me back are in software. Some development work can be difficult on a tablet, for example, because the software doesn’t work well on the hardware.

“I expect to see advances to that in the years to come. I also think battery life will continue to get better as software becomes more efficient.”

Setting Up a Home Office for Remote Work

Lon’s setup is unique to his own situation. The use of a tablet and smartphone work well for his active lifestyle and need to reach VirtualPBX at all hours of the day.

Your own situation in setting up a home office for remote work will be different. However, you may find similarities in your location (always on the go) or your hardware freedoms (primary use of cloud-based apps).

VirtualPBX allows its entire workforce to operate remotely because of its reliance on cloud-based software and through the features of its own phone system, which offer every employee a centralized way to remain connected in meetings and through text and shared documents. Lon’s hardware takes advantage of that freedom.

We hope that you can gain some remote work setup ideas from this look into our COO’s collection of gadgets. It took him years of iteration to get to this point. We’d like you to be able to start immediately.