WORK FROM HOME
I have essentially worked from home for the past 5 years. Sure, I’ve worked in an office (in our bank system) during that time, but the majority of this time, I have worked out of a home office.
Now that the world is in lockdown because of the Covid-19 pandemic, working from home has taken on a new meaning. While there are many social changes and a lot of sad and crazy stuff going on in the world, my work life hasn’t changed that much. Because of this, I feel I’m in a unique position. These are the things I have learned over the years and things that work for me.
SEPARATION OF SPACE – DEDICATED SPACE FOR WORK
In my case, I have an extra room, which is converted into a home office. Only work equipment is in this room, it’s my office. When I am in this room I work. I don’t do any non-work-related tasks in here. I never work in my actual bedroom, that’s personal space.
It’s important to have these boundaries because they help your mindset when you are in these places, your mind knows its work time or its playtime. Not everyone has the luxury of a separate room. When I started out, I was living in a small apartment. I set up a desk on one side of the bedroom and that became my office. Even if your work area is nothing more than a desk, that’s your workspace and you need to guard it.
SEPARATION/DIFFERENCE OF TIME ZONE.
Most of the time I work at Pacific Daylight Time because most of my clients are geographically based in the United States. I like to work in this time zone because I can talk with my clients and friends from the United States, Canada to discuss projects and solve client problems! I worked better at night in my time zone, this makes it possible to work calmly and not be distracted.
It’s really important to remove as many distractions as possible while working. I know some people watch TV or movies while working. I almost never have the TV on during the day. I do listen to music (Sirius XM radio station) a lot while working, it helps me.
EQUIPMENT IN MY HOME OFFICE
Since I’m in the creative industry, my needs are extensive.
Furniture. A comfortable chair and a sturdy desk. It is good for my posture and productivity.
My computer system is the most important piece of gear because I do all my work on it.
I use a Windows machine and this serves me well for heavy-duty Photoshop work and high Def video editing.
I have a big and bad experience with the Apple iMac into which a very small insect climbed behind the display of my iMac (this is the reason that the iMac cannot be independent service and cleaned from the dust that he pumped during the entire time). For me, this is the biggest drawback, not being able to independently service my equipment.
So, I built my own PC with a lot of power and a good price than the Mac system.
My most important input device is my Wacom tablet. Right now I have an Intuos Pro medium on my desk. The medium is a great size for sitting on my desk without taking up too much space.
The Wacom tablet is a drawing tablet. It features a wireless pen with 8192 levels of pen pressure. The pen has no battery so it never runs out of power or needs to be charged. It works on Bluetooth or wired. The tablet has a nice feel like pen on paper and makes it easy for me to do things like retouching because of the pen pressure, you can blend with it. I also use the pen tablet for making notes and signing documents on my screen because a pen is more natural to use than a mouse. When I’m in programs like Photoshop, I don’t really use a mouse, because I can navigate and work with the tablet.
My main monitor is a 27” Dell UP2720Q with a convenient built-in colorimeter I like this monitor because it has a very accurate color and I can switch between different color profiles. It’s easy to adjust the height and tilt of this monitor so that its comfortable to look at. It also comes with a hood that helps reduce glare on the screen. The colors are very consistent across the display and it supports 100% Adobe RGB, 80% BT. 2020 and 98% DCI-P3 (with the DCI-P3 color space achieving a better color reproduction than sRGB). This means its pretty spot on when it comes to color. It’s super important that I am looking at a calibrated display when color grading video or working on photographs and images.
Obviously the software I run and live in is Adobe Creative Cloud. This is the same software that started off as Individual boxed apps such as Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere Pro, After Effects, InDesign, and Illustrator. Then Adobe bundled the apps together in what was Creative Suite. Now the apps are in a collection called Creative Cloud.
KEYBOARD AND MOUSE
I use a wireless Logitech MX Keys Keyboard it also can be wired. I use a Logitech G604 multi-button mouse with a scroll wheel. I don’t like the Apple magic mouse either. The ergonomics aren’t comfortable in my hand and also it keeps scrolling to the side and messes me up when in Premiere pro. Not to mention, you need a physical middle button for working in 3D software.
I’m very fortunate that my local internet provider recently installed fiber in my neighborhood and I have 200Mb up and 10Mb down speeds and very fast wifi through the house. I also run a secondary wifi mesh system that is dedicated to my smart home devices. This frees up bandwidth for other tasks and offers me an added level of security and redundancy. I obviously have a very good security system, but I won’t discuss that here.
For storage, I have a 32TB Qnap raid and back it up onto a daisy chain of other drives.
As I mentioned, music is very important to me. For sound, I use Creative Pebble speakers.