Working from Home

In case you weren’t aware, we are on day 8 of a transit strike here in Ottawa. I don’t drive (at all) so I normally rely heavily on the bus system here (which, in my mind, is top notch, when it’s running). Fortunately the nature of my work (and my manager) has allowed me to work from home on most of the strike days so far.

I was a little worried about working from home. I wasn’t sure how productive I’d be. But as it turns out, I am more productive at home than I am in the office. Here is a quick pro and con list of my experience working from home so far:

Pros:

  • I control the work environment (temperature, lighting, etc.)
  • Quiet! I am all by myself all day (heaven for an introvert like me)
  • More screen real-estate. At the office I have dual 17″ monitors (both @ 1280×1024). At home I am using a laptop (@ 1600×1050), plus the laptop is hooked into my 2nd monitor via the KVM (@ 1280×1024) PLUS I have my 24″ monitor (@ 1920×1200) connected to my home PC, which I can use for web browsing, media, etc). That’s over 5 million pixels in all!
  • Quiet! I can get focused and stay focused (again, for an introvert, getting focused, or getting back into focus, can be difficult)
  • Lunch and snacks are closer, and cheaper.
  • I have full access to the office network (via VPN) and my office PC’s hard drive.
  • Better chair than the one in my office.
  • I can play my music as loud as I want!

Cons (both relatively easy to resolve):

  • The laptop only has 1 GB of RAM!
  • I haven’t been able to get the laptop to share my mouse and keyboard (the mouse works, but it’s laggy. No wonder though: USB Mouse -> USB to PS/2 adapter -> KVM -> KVM Cable -> PS/2 to USB adapter -> laptop). Update: Resolved via laptop docking station borrowed from the office.

Here’s my home office setup:

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