comfortable work

We are living in quite dangerous world, a threat to human life is more common, if not terrorist attacks, angry people who knows how to use knife for something else than cutting a steak, or some coronavirus and any other virus we can get which can lead to death, these are only few which can end our life.

Luckily we are living in a world where internet is getting only faster and cheaper, hardware we work on has good enough performance, furniture is widely available and all we need to do is really start practising that remote work.

If you are planning to work from comfort of your own home, make sure you have dedicated space for that, you don’t need much, usually a quiet space with a small desk and comfortable chair will do just fine, if you need absolute silence you can either have dedicated room and if you don’t have it, then set of quality headphones will help.

The most important factor is self discipline, you need to feel that you are at work and you will need to remind yourself of that for a week or two, being at home there are many obstacles you can find on your way, make sure fridge is out of your interest, you don’t get disturbed by personal phone, family members or useless web browsing/internet consumption which you usually be doing let say over the weekend. This is time dedicated for work and if you set these rules to start with and stick to them it will be easier for future. Good work ethic will become your habit and people you work with will definitely spot a difference in you. Office is an area where there is loads of people who feel the need to socialise so the small chat will always be started between you and your colleagues, there is nothing wrong in small talk, exchanging reflections or experiences we had but if we would have to listen to everyone and perhaps use time dedicated for work we use for entertainment, there will be no progress made.

Working remotely is giving you opportunity to use your time differently, more efficiently and I can guarantee you that if you become good in it, it will be recognised and it could be beneficial for you when your boss find it better that you work remotely. Once you have your self discipline sorted, make sure you have the right type of hardware handy, the range of products here should match your personality. You can work out of anything but not everything will work for you. Everyone is different.

When I started working remotely few years ago, I started using Windows 7 PC, it was OK for majority of things but it had its flaws, windows updates were coming in bad timing (always), I had to do important task when updates kicked in, easily got distracted and as result wasted about an hour of my productive time. I wanted to make a difference in how I work so I decided to upgrade the pc, purchased more RAM, bigger monitor, better keyboard and mouse, and SSD drive to make it faster. Was very happy with the update for about 6 weeks and then realised that this is not what I was really looking for, there was another problem, in fact there were two in fact. First was a major one, I had power cuts occurring quite often and when it happened I couldn’t work as I didn’t have UPS, even having one it would not benefit me much as I would need to spend couple of thousands of pounds to be able to work on the system I had for an hour, UPS is only good if you are planning to quickly save all your work and switch the pc off safely. When power was gone, internet was gone too so pretty much work was not happening and then I was spending more time after work to get things right. Second issue was a luck of backup, I had external drive but I didn’t made backups often, although I have everything important saved, there was a risk of losing data. I thought it was about the right time to change the gear I was working on.

It was 2014 when I purchased my first work MacBook Air, it was an i5 model with 4GB of RAM and 256GB SSD, I have and use that machine even now but it is now changed on how I do that. As all my emails and I had several thousands of them were in Microsoft Outlook format, I have installed a second operating system on the mac and that was indeed Windows 7, I have purchased a 27” Thunderbolt Display, magic keyboard and the mouse. That setup was excellent for most part, it was much faster than old PC I had and I didn’t suffer from power cuts anymore as battery on MacBook Air still allowed me to work on it for at least 6 hours meaning I could pretty much work for the time the power was off. When I didn’t had internet I was using the hotspot on my iPhone and that was working just great. I have continued to working like this for couple of years. My next purchase was a proper backup system, I went for Qnap NAS server, the TS-253a which I got with 8GB of RAM, that system is till today probably one of my centre’s of work/life data. I have backups on the system, I have VMware installed meaning I can run Windows and other operating systems on the NAS, I have a PLEX server so all my movies and TV Shows are stored on it and also it act like my CCTV recorder to see what’s going on around the house. It was a great purchase which made so much difference.

Back in 2016 I decided that working out of Windows is becoming less productive in work I do, it had so many flaws and obstacles I decided to move to Mac operating system. It was easy in theory as system was already installed and coming with my Mac but of course as I used Windows for such a long time I had all my emails in PST format and I was using outlook for that. I didn’t want to work on the Microsoft products anymore so I did couple of things:

  • converted all PST emails to Apple Mail format
  • Installed Windows 7 on my Qnap to run outlook and every now and then backup the emails in PST format in case if I will ever need to come back to work on windows, on perhaps temporary pc or laptop I would be able to do it.

Moving to Mac was fantastic, I was using Time Machine backups to USB drive connected to my MacBook as well as the Qnap so my data was always saved and properly backed up. Somewhere around 2017 I have purchased an iPad Pro 9.7” and that was a life changer for me. I was always using iPads to browse the web, watch videos, take to airports etc etc but with this one I started to work on it too. I was able to connect to my Qnap, even remotely, import PST emails and keep on the iPad, it was a fantastic machine and when I got sick and had to go to hospital I didn’t even take a single day off work, I was working out of iPad for couple of months, of course not everything was easy but battery lasted for ages, I was using Logitech keyboard and Apple Pencil and working out of it was just fantastic. I was able to charge it out of portable USB power bank, write long emails, backup data from hospital to home with no issues as well as watch my own movies on PLEX. It came apparent that few things were missing, it was a good spec model with SIM card slot so I had internet without a need to use my phone for hotspot but it only had 32GB of storage which I found it is too little as my email database is around 10GB itself, then some photos, music library etc and simply find out that there is no space left at all. The other thing was a screen size, 9.7” was definitely too small, although very light and it was great working on it just after an operation. I started to realise on what my next machine will look like.

End of 2018 I have purchased a brand new iPad Pro 12.9” 256GB with new Apple Pencil, original keyboard folio and special UAG protection case. Thanks to iOS 13 you have a proper laptop experience, I don’t need to use my mac anymore, I only do that time to time now. It is just much more comfortable to work of it and I can work on it anywhere I want, all I need is that iPad and that is it.

In this BLOG I will be giving you practical tips of how to work from home or anywhere you will desire, how to work efficiently, how to save time, what to purchase to start working remotely etc etc. Stay tuned for more content like this.

If you have any questions please use the comments section below.

Thanks for reading,


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