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A Checklist for the Full-Stack Remote Worker
If you've decided to ditch going to the office and plan to work from home for the foreseeable future, welcome! You're not alone— many people have fallen in love with working remotely in 2020, and many of them are deciding that they'd like to continue even after offices open. I'm one of them.
Here's a checklist of six tech essentials you'll need as a Full-Stack Remote Worker.
1. A Powerful Laptop
You need a computer that can keep up with you. If you're working from home, you suddenly have a lot of extra time on your hands, which you might use for side projects such as learning new skills, generating passive income, taking up freelance opportunities, or a combination of these. Invest in a good laptop that fulfills your requirements and future-proof yourself: make sure it can run with you as you grow.
My Laptop: M1 MacBook Pro
2. A Large Monitor
If you're working from home with a laptop, I highly suggest getting a Monitor that you can dock your laptop to. I didn't realize how convenient it was until recently to have a monitor to dock my laptop to on a desk. It is one of the few things that boosted my productivity almost overnight. A bigger screen has many benefits like convenience and lesser strain on your eyes and improves your posture when you don't have to angle your neck downwards all the time. Also, Youtube and Netflix look much better on a bigger screen when you want to take a break.
My Monitor: LG 22 Inch HD Monitor
3. A Mechanical Keyboard
Most laptop keyboards suck. And most people only realize this when they finally type on a mechanical keyboard for the first time. As a Full Stack Remote Worker, you need to ensure that you have a machine that works well, endures wear and tear (and the occasional angery Twitter outburst), and one that does not give your hands all sorts of conditions (I've got carpal tunnel AND cubital tunnel syndrome, so trust me on this). Get yourself a mechanical keyboard.
My Keyboard: Redgear MK881 Invador
4. A Wireless Mouse
Using your laptop's trackpad for extended periods is unhealthy in the long term. It puts excessive strain on your fingers' nerves, which might develop into a painful condition quickly. As a Full-Stack Remote Worker, you want to invest in the right wireless mouse that relieves the pressure from your nerves and is safe for prolonged use.
My Mouse: Apple Magic Mouse 2 for Mac
5. An External Webcam
What's the one unavoidable feature of Remote Working? Zoom calls! Whether you're talking to your boss or colleagues, interviewing for a new gig, or talking to your clients, you want to leave them with an excellent first and last impression. Pre-COVID, this might have meant impeccable dressing or an impressive meeting location. In the Post-COVID age, the focus is almost entirely on what your invitee sees on their screen. You want to wow them, and you want to show them you are serious, which means you've got to get yourself a good webcam. I've gone down the mirrorless DSLR route, but it is truly unnecessary to have a DSLR. Invest in one of the good Logitechs: they're small, connect quickly, and you're covered for years of remote work.
My Webcam: Logitech C920S Pro HD Webcam
6. An External Microphone
A good visual is incomplete without impeccable audio. There are times when your video will lag, or you simply choose to turn your Webcam off. A trusty microphone will always save the day. Whether you're attending work calls or webinars, or recording an explanatory video on Loom, you need a good quality microphone that allows you to command attention instantly.
My Microphone: Blue Microphones Yeti USB Mic