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    Maybe I’m just in a bad mood, but half of it came off kinda condescending.

    To the actual points, because overall it’s not a bad post:

    • not everyone has a house, so some of those “you should do this” maybe especially rubbed me the wrong way because of lack of space[0]
    • a (gaming) headset with a good mic is absolutely fine, no need for a podcasting mic, please don’t use a macbook microphone - 100% agree on good comfy headphones though
    • the monitor arm thing is true at home or in an office, either you like/need it or not - I don’t even have the space for it. My home setup is actually a lot better than my office setup, I’d just need to actually hook up my laptop when I am working from home.
    • The dock makes sense if you take out the laptop all the time, if you leave it connected all the time… What I’m trying to say that I’d need a dock at work a lot more than at home, because of meetings
    • Ethernet: nice to have, yes, but in my experience 90% of the time wifi works just as well if you don’t do video calls. Video calls are the only thing that need Ethernet. Or uploading Docker containers maybe
    • also lighting is probably a very personal topic, I couldn’t care less unless the sun is shining directly onto the screen.

    One of the rules I instated for my team is that we should always do video calls, with few exceptions. Video humanizes the experience more than only voice

    I 100% disagree with this. Maybe if the people want to do it, but I think it’s a bad rule. Back at my last company where we did a lot of pairing (for hours on) we mostly did Video only for short meetings or standups, but everyone was free to switch of video if they felt like it. When doing planning everyone was staring at JIRA anyway, for retrospectives we had a Google doc, and so on.

    [0]: I am actually lucky enough to have a whole room to myself when working from home (I don’t do it full time), and that’s the main point, no obvious distractions. Depending on your country of residence there are laws and guidelines how work places (even at home) should be set up and sometimes they’re a little over the top, but usually worth reading and following at least half of it. Don’t sit hunkered over your laptop on the sofa on a very low sofa table for 8h, for example.

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      Maybe if the people want to do it, but I think it’s a bad rule.

      In general, the team I lead wanted to do it eventually. It took some convincing and a sprint-long trial run before they were sold on it. Having now tried this at a few organizations, I find that video-on-by-default works wonders for team unity in the form of retaining attention during meetings and helping keep meetings flowing.

      Changing the default is the goal, not requiring it by edict. I’m more engaged and others on the call are also more engaged when they can see each others’ faces. My current primary organization doesn’t do video by default and the number of times I’ve commented to myself and to others that video would have helped the conversation in order to pick up nuance and retain attention is surprisingly predictably high.

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        team unity in the form of retaining attention during meetings

        I’d argue that if you’re having attention problems, the issue isn’t whether or not someone is using video, it’s that you’re putting people in meetings where they’re not needed. If the meeting was relevant, employees would have no issue paying attention. I find that I only disengage from meetings when the content becomes irrelevant.

        I have a unique experience where I actually frequently take meetings from two companies. One tries to accomplish as much as possible via async communication, so meetings are usually highly-engaging, and I have no issue being 100% focused and having my video on. The other encourages meetings over async communication, and will frequently ask me to be in meetings where the content is only tangentially relevant to my work. In those meetings, I typically have my video off and continue working on things while listening to the meeting in the background. I’d much rather keep a productive hour of my day rather than sit disengaged in a meeting.

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          it’s that you’re putting people in meetings where they’re not needed

          You’re not wrong! A problem is that this particular organization doesn’t (yet) have a culture of adequately recording meeting notes and circulating those notes to interested parties afterward. That would reduce the number of people that need to be on a call without reducing the number of interested parties on the call. I’m working hard to change the direction of the brontosaurus but until then, visually engaging people in conversation is the best way I’ve found to keep attention.

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          I find that video-on-by-default works wonders for team unity


          One of the rules I instated for my team is that we should always do video calls, with few exceptions.

          I hope you see the difference for yourself :)

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            Rules are always reevaluated. We’d talk about the mechanics every few sprints to reaffirm consensus.

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        I’ve been working from home for about 6 years at this point, and moved into our current house a bit over a year ago, but have yet to make an investment in wiring it up with Ethernet. It’s a 126 year old house… I’ve been thinking about trying Ethernet over Power to get Ethernet into my office at the back of the house… Anyone have any experiences with that, and /or recommendations?

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          Ethernet over power has been… unreliable in my experience. Especially in an old house where the power installation is dating (another 100+ house here), there’s a lot of packet loss, and the terminals de-synced regularly.

          I worked this way for a couple of years then finally spent the money to wire my office (professionally), and my only regret was not doing it earlier.

          As far as reliability is concerned I consider Ethernet over power worse than wifi, so I would suggest you skip the EoP phase entirely stay on wifi until you can afford/organise wiring.

          Annecdata etc… But feel free to ask further questions (I can for example look up the brand I used once I’m back home)

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            Had EoP. Laying real ethernet was a pain (one wall is like a bank vault), but it worth the pain. But I also know people who are happy eith EoP.

            Anyone who considers EoP should buy from someone who allows returns, test it thoroughly and run 24×7 ping every second for a few days, and floodping too, and return the hardware if they lost the lottery.

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            I’m in the same situation, and a cheap pair of EoP devices works for me. (I am travelling and unfortunately don’t remember the brand/make.) I’ve heard some people struggle with EoP reliability, but I’ve had no problems.

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              I think it depends a lot on quality of the electricity you receive, how much and regular power you draw, and cabling in your house. For instance I’ve seen installations where packets start dropping when someone runs a vacuum, washer or hairdryer.

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              My experience with powerline ethernet based solutions is that it’s vastly worse then WiFi, so if you can use WiFi that’s much better. Even with “high end” equipment I’ve rarely seen someone getting peaks over 100Mbit/s and sustained speeds less than half that.

              I did plan and helped install ethernet in a 200 year old house/castle (which is part of our national history perseverance program making regulations rather strict for everything). We installed UniFi access-points about 10-15 of them across 4 stories and got really good internet speeds in every nook of the castle. I originally planned rough positions for good coverage and then worked with a skilled electrician to find places where we could easily route cables through existing ducting/holes in the walls and placed our outlets and access points based on the best combination of coverage and possibility of retro fitting the cabling without doing and invasive work in the building. Turned out really good and went quicker than expected, working with a experienced and skilled professional really helped keeping installation simple, fast and flexible.

              A third alternative which is somewhat of a hybrid approach which I’ve only rarely used in building to building connections is putting a directional wifi antenna where the internet comes in and another at the office where you want to receive, then use the “receiver” as a bridge to a wired ethernet switch and possibly a more typical omnidirectional wifi access point. Ubiquiti also have some cost effective solutions here. I haven’t tested their new “UniFi Building-to-Building Bridge” but it seems like a quite nice solution, same thing can be achieved with any directional WiFi unit though. https://store.ui.com/products/unifi-building-to-building-bridge

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                I use Powerline to connect my downstairs entertainment center to my network core. It really only needs enough bandwidth for Netflix 4K (~25 Mbps) and the rare occasion that I turn on my Playstation 3 for an update cycle in case I ever return to it. It works fine if your house is wired sensibly. You won’t really know until you try. You’re best off getting the fastest adapters you can afford and settling for whatever speed they provide, rejecting them if and only if that speed is inadequate for your purposes. You’re better off running Cat5e or Cat6|7 if you can at all or getting a really good WiFi AP and moving other devices to a wired setup if they have Ethernet ports.