I’ve worked as a full remote since mid-2017 when I joined Datadog. Ever since I’ve slowly upgraded my setup to ease my work from home and I also tried to adapt and find the best ways to communicate and work with remote coworkers. In my current team, only 2 teammates are regularly going to the office and the 5 others are mostly remote, even for those who live close to the office.
Let’s have a look at my current setup at home!
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Wear headphones, Please! Headphones play a major role: they will help the video-conference tool you use to reduce any echo and this will increase a lot your sound quality for your coworkers. Bluetooth headphones can have some noticeable lag, but this is sometimes much more comfortable than wires, wires, wires. I use a pair of AirPods Pro and a wired Bose QC35. To charge the AirPods, I have a nice oak charging dock that I also use to charge my iPhone (I also have their vertical stand to slide my laptop into).
To speak, I use a Blue Yeti Nano. It’s a USB microphone, which has its pros and cons, but at least, it does not require phantom power although it’s a bit expensive and less good than a real mike. The microphone works with the infamous Logitech G-Hub application which is… well… horrible (if you don’t like Electron applications, you are not going to be disappointed with the UI of this tool). Beyond that, the sound quality is very good and I can’t wait to start my podcast with it (what podcast? I still don’t know)…
On the software side of things, I bought the ultimate podcast bundle from Rogue Amoeba and I use Audio Hijack to route all sound to fake devices. I used Loopback to create a microphone and headphones and these are always plugged into my video-conferencing tool. These tools are costly but they are packed with many features (I only hate the popup that pops when my AirPods get disconnected, please fix this!)
I have a pair of Bose Companion to play music directly from my laptop. They are average but I did not find any small-sized good-sounding alternative. I use them mostly to play music and plug my wired headphones. Of course, there are some Sonos One and Roams not too far for a better quality sound.
My camera is a repurposed Sony Alpha-5000 that I have flashed to remove the HUD in HDMI mode. I plugged it in an Elgato HD60 S+ to do the capture of the HDMI stream (it’s also the origin story of my short twitch career). The lens I use provides a nice Bokeh out of the box!
On the desk-side of things, I have a Jarvis Fully standing desk and it’s very nice to be able to stand a couple of hours. I also bought their monitor arm because I wanted to optimize the space I have on the desk.
My display is a DELL S3221QS Display, a 32" UHD curved monitor. I’m pretty happy with it. It’s not a Retina Display, only UDH but the confort is very good!
I also got an amazing accessory as a gift. I use it several time a day! It’s a warming cup from Ember. I pour my long coffee at 9:30 in the morning and I can slowly drink it until 11h, sipping and savoring an always hot coffee. The Bluetooth interface is a gadget, but you need it to set the correct temperature. After this, you can remove the app to rely on its front-facing LED.
And you, what do you use at home?