Working Remotely



  • Mostly directed at those who frequently work remotely or abroad in a non-office environment (hotel room, apartment kitchen table/living room/balcony).

    I'm looking for the most convenient setup, considerations, things to keep in mind, etc... based on your experience. I just want to be prepared.

    I mean, I often work from home, but I have my whole setup. I can't take it with me abroad, and I like to pack light. I'm thinking my laptop, work laptop, wireless mouse, and a USB monitor. It's so hard to work off of a single laptop screen.

    I've seen some decent AOC and Asus USB 3.0 monitors... any tried and true?

    I'm still waiting to see if I need to bring any network equipment, hub or access point, but I'll figure that out on my own. (waiting on photos of the existing setup where I'll be going, so I know what I need)

    Any other considerations or anything else I should be thinking of? I'll be accessing all of my work resources via VPN. So laptop + internet are the bare necessities. All else would be for comfort and convenience, which is also important, as I'll be doing this for 3 months.

    Edit: I'll also be bringing an IP phone with me so I can still make and take calls as if I'm at work on-prem via my normal extension. This is a simple Ethernet plug-in... so I'm good there.



  • Why two laptops?



  • @gjacobse said in Working Remotely:

    Why two laptops?

    One for work, one for personal use.



  • Similar to you I have everything I need in the home office,.. Three Monitors, Desk phone, Laptop, and really anything else I want.

    Going mobile I would ditch the IP phone and use a Softphone on our laptop and full bluetooth headset. I agree with using an external monitor as well.

    I use two of the three monitors for 'working' and the third is for Skype messaging.



  • @Tim_G said in Working Remotely:

    @gjacobse said in Working Remotely:

    Why two laptops?

    One for work, one for personal use.

    Why not dual boot?



  • @gjacobse said in Working Remotely:

    @Tim_G said in Working Remotely:

    @gjacobse said in Working Remotely:

    Why two laptops?

    One for work, one for personal use.

    Why not dual boot?

    It's company owned, and I don't care to keep anything personal on it, even if it's a dual boot. Strictly work. It just keeps all cards and what-ifs completely off the table. It's best that way.


  • Service Provider

    @Tim_G Because you are doing this for 3 months, I would just buy a decent, but not expensive, monitor locally and then donate it to the family when you leave. I would expect that to be better than a USB monitor.

    For extended work I try to have a local KVM setup. But that really needs to be 1 month or more for me to consider it. Less than that I just use my laptop. Sometimes the mouse in addition to the trackpad.

    If you do not know about the network quality where you are staying, bring a setup. For me, this would be an ERX and UAP-AC-LITE. I would setup them up ahead of time so the LAN side is all 100% and then you only have to deal with how you connect the WAN after that.

    If you are staying with relatives, find out their wifi info ahead of time and program it into your UAP and just swap out their gear while you were there.


  • Service Provider

    @gjacobse said in Working Remotely:

    Going mobile I would ditch the IP phone and use a Softphone on our laptop and full bluetooth headset.

    Not for 3 months, I wouldn't.



  • Dual/Triple screen laptops are coming soon, maybe hold out a bit



  • @JaredBusch said in Working Remotely:

    @Tim_G Because you are doing this for 3 months, I would just buy a decent, but not expensive, monitor locally and then donate it to the family when you leave. I would expect that to be better than a USB monitor.

    For extended work I try to have a local KVM setup. But that really needs to be 1 month or more for me to consider it. Less than that I just use my laptop. Sometimes the mouse in addition to the trackpad.

    If you do not know about the network quality where you are staying, bring a setup. For me, this would be an ERX and UAP-AC-LITE. I would setup them up ahead of time so the LAN side is all 100% and then you only have to deal with how you connect the WAN after that.

    If you are staying with relatives, find out their wifi info ahead of time and program it into your UAP and just swap out their gear while you were there.

    We are renting a smaller 1-BR apartment for the 3 months. So I'll be working on the kitchen table, coffee table, or a small table out on the balcony (this could be nice!). So personally, I'm not fanatic about having more power cables in addition to my laptop to lug around. But that's some good advice, if I do set up somewhere there in a less-mobile way, I may take your monitor advice.

    It's a typical 100mb consumer internet connection. So good connectivity, just don't know how it's set up. Probably via "cable modem", but not sure what's there. Waiting on some pictures still. I could always bring my own stuff if I don't like what's there, but I'm still waiting to see.



  • @MattSpeller said in Working Remotely:

    Dual/Triple screen laptops are coming soon, maybe hold out a bit

    Razer Valerie, already here, just expensive. I'd still go with @JaredBusch, buy a monitor locally and leave/donate it when done.



  • @Tim_G said in Working Remotely:

    a small table out on the balcony (this could be nice!).

    External laptop battery pack is a very sweet accessory

    https://www.amazon.ca/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Delectronics&field-keywords=laptop+battery+pack



  • @travisdh1 said in Working Remotely:

    @MattSpeller said in Working Remotely:

    Dual/Triple screen laptops are coming soon, maybe hold out a bit

    Razer Valerie, already here, just expensive. I'd still go with @JaredBusch, buy a monitor locally and leave/donate it when done.

    You've got to be kidding me!

    I want one yesterday!


  • Service Provider

    @Tim_G said in Working Remotely:

    @gjacobse said in Working Remotely:

    Why two laptops?

    One for work, one for personal use.

    I do this but only out of extreme use cases. Try to cut back to one if possible.


  • Service Provider

    @JaredBusch said in Working Remotely:

    @gjacobse said in Working Remotely:

    Going mobile I would ditch the IP phone and use a Softphone on our laptop and full bluetooth headset.

    Not for 3 months, I wouldn't.

    Even for six months I do this. Anything to reduce weight. I'm not on the phone a lot though. And when I am it is randomly corporate PBX, Skype, Hangouts, etc.


  • Service Provider

    @Tim_G said

    It's company owned, and I don't care to keep anything personal on it, even if it's a dual boot. Strictly work. It just keeps all cards and what-ifs completely off the table. It's best that way.

    You are doing it wrong.

    Emails live in a browser
    Files live in a browser
    Delete what you don't use.


  • Service Provider

    @Breffni-Potter said in Working Remotely:

    @Tim_G said

    It's company owned, and I don't care to keep anything personal on it, even if it's a dual boot. Strictly work. It just keeps all cards and what-ifs completely off the table. It's best that way.

    You are doing it wrong.

    Emails live in a browser
    Files live in a browser
    Delete what you don't use.

    If the company can remote wipe it, you don't want anything personal on it. If you have company stuff on it, you don't want to let the kids touch it...


  • Service Provider

    @Mike-Davis said

    If the company can remote wipe it, you don't want anything personal on it.

    Explain to me how anything would be on it...when the data lives on a server which you are viewing through a web browser?



  • Cached credentials? Temporary files? Browsing history? If you can't wipe it before giving it back to your company, are you confident that it is always clean of all your personal data? I dunno.



  • Well my company laptop isn't powerful or featureful enough for personal use. So that means I'd have to waste space on already low capacity m.2 or higher capacity SSD personal storage. Then id have to use it daily in a work setting and its too big for that. Its 15.6 and for work I like smaller (not including this upcoming remote work). There's too many reasons and you all are thinking in too simple terms when there's a lot more variables that come to play. Its a nice laptop I want to last and don't want to beat up for work purposes.

    Sure I could use my personal laptop while remote, but again I don't want to dual boot and all that, image it etc. Its so much simpler to have both when I could stuff my work one inside my my clothing suitcase in between clothing or blanket real good.


  • Service Provider

    @Carnival-Boy said in Working Remotely:

    Cached credentials? Temporary files? Browsing history? If you can't wipe it before giving it back to your company, are you confident that it is always clean of all your personal data? I dunno.

    You could, in theory you could run a VM maybe and only use that.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Working Remotely:

    @Carnival-Boy said in Working Remotely:

    Cached credentials? Temporary files? Browsing history? If you can't wipe it before giving it back to your company, are you confident that it is always clean of all your personal data? I dunno.

    You could, in theory you could run a VM maybe and only use that.

    This could work temporarily while I'm abroad working remotely. I could always store the VM on my internal SSD, and boot it up when I want to work. Delete it when I'm finished. Not sure if I want to turn my personal laptop into a hypervisor, though. That's the question. And then, I don't know if I can use my laptop monitor plus the USB monitor on a VM. Can you spread a VM across two monitors? I never had a need for it or a need to try it.


  • Service Provider

    @Tim_G said in Working Remotely:

    @scottalanmiller said in Working Remotely:

    @Carnival-Boy said in Working Remotely:

    Cached credentials? Temporary files? Browsing history? If you can't wipe it before giving it back to your company, are you confident that it is always clean of all your personal data? I dunno.

    You could, in theory you could run a VM maybe and only use that.

    This could work temporarily while I'm abroad working remotely. I could always store the VM on my internal SSD, and boot it up when I want to work. Delete it when I'm finished. Not sure if I want to turn my personal laptop into a hypervisor, though. That's the question. And then, I don't know if I can use my laptop monitor plus the USB monitor on a VM. Can you spread a VM across two monitors? I never had a need for it or a need to try it.

    I only have one with me. It'll be quite some time before I can check.



  • @Tim_G said in Working Remotely:

    @scottalanmiller said in Working Remotely:

    @Carnival-Boy said in Working Remotely:

    Cached credentials? Temporary files? Browsing history? If you can't wipe it before giving it back to your company, are you confident that it is always clean of all your personal data? I dunno.

    You could, in theory you could run a VM maybe and only use that.

    This could work temporarily while I'm abroad working remotely. I could always store the VM on my internal SSD, and boot it up when I want to work. Delete it when I'm finished. Not sure if I want to turn my personal laptop into a hypervisor, though. That's the question. And then, I don't know if I can use my laptop monitor plus the USB monitor on a VM. Can you spread a VM across two monitors? I never had a need for it or a need to try it.

    VirtualBox does allow this. I don't know about VMware Workstation.


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