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Me Tips & Tricks

Creating a workplace at home

So, I’m about 10 months late on this topic now that we have all been from home for such a long time. The discussion is turning more towards how we can move BACK to the offices, how and when that can and will be done.

For me, this is an important topic and I thought I would share my learnings from the past 10 months regarding creating a workspace at home.

I really understand that not everyone has the living situation allowing them to set up a good working place. In our apartment we had to set up an extra workplace since both me and my girlfriend are working from home full time for a foreseeable future. This ment some compromises when it comes to optimal space since we only had one spare room, putting my workplace in the bedroom.

Please bear in mind that these are important to me and I totally understand if you don’t have the space, ambition, or willingness to go down this path.

A real desk and a chair you like

Even if it’s quite convenient to setup your office at the kitchen table, it’s far from optimal for several reason. Even though it’s nice to be close to the coffee maker, this is not good for your back and sholders.

Given that you have the space, getting a real desk and chair makes wonders. It doesn’t have to be one of those adjustable desks or expensive gaming chairs. Simple stuff from IKEA is a good start!

For me, this is the most important part. I can leave everything else out, but I need a decent desk and chair to work from home.

A monitor

Having an external monitor is important from a whole lot of aspects. You get some extra real estate while working on those spreadsheets and most importantly you end up in a more ergonomic posture, raising your line of sight. Being someone who has worked extensively from only a laptop monitor in the past, this has become important. For me, it doesn’t have to be a fancy, top-of-the-line screen, even though it does have to have okay aesthetic since it becomes a part of the interior decoration for the room.

A keyboard and mouse you enjoy

This has been one of the bigger pet peeves for me. Finding a good keyboard and mouse. I’ve also discovered I’m fussy on this topic and I have quite specific expectations.

I’ve been using the Microsoft Arc Mouse for a long time, and I really enjoy it. However, that has always been more of a “travel mouse” for when on the go or not at a real desk. It’s a bit small and not to ergonomic for my taste. I was also using an old “all-in-one” Microsoft keyboard which had a bad typing experience.

Those are now replaced with new fancy stuff, Microsoft Compact Designer Keyboard, and a Microsoft Ergonomic Bluetooth Mouse which I really like.

Since I spend a lot of time typing, the keyboard experience is important, and this keyboard feels just like a laptop keyboard (I’m NOT a fan at all of mechanic keyboards).

A webcam

This is something simple and for remote work important to have good Teams meetings. If your setup includes an external monitor, getting an external webcam will really increase your meeting experience. You will be facing the correct screen compared to using your built-in webcam from the laptop, which will not present you in profile and you will be perceived as more engaged in the meeting since you will be looking the in the correct direction.

Keep a clean desk policy

I’ve always been a fan of this, both at the office and at home. Getting stuff out of the way and de-clutter my workspace removes all distractions. It’s also nice to start the workday fresh and since my workplace is in the bedroom, clearing up the desk helps me disconnect.

Take breaks

This is the area I need to improve the most on. I’m bad at taking breaks. However, I do try to take at least one 20–30-minute walk everyday with our dog. But I tend to eat lunch in front of the computer and just go to the kitchen for refill of water or coffee, so more like micro breaks.

Be flexible

This is another area of improvement for me, I tend to not move around as much as I would like. But being flexible where you work from, just like you would at an office, makes you don’t have to stare at the same wall day in and day out. It could give you a sense of an activity-based office. My idea how I will handle 2021 is to start my day at the table dinner table in the living room and then move into my office space when I’ve finished my coffee. However, I still some way to go on that point.

For me, being flexible could also mean that you bring your workspace to new places, or even outside when winter is over. After working as a traveling consultant for several years, my essential office still fits in a backpack.

Evolve your workspace

My home workspace is always evolving and improving. As or right now I have to things I’m thinking about. Replacing the desk for an adjustable one and figure out a good lightning setup with a low fotprint to improve the lighting for Teams meetings.

I also have about a thousand ideas what I would like to do, which are not possible now due to room limitations. But I have dreams of what my home office should look like, and it doesn’t really include that much technology. It has more to do what I want my space to look like.

Categories
Me

Welcome!

So the time has come, I’ve FINALLY launched my own blog again.

I’ve had this domain and blog for several years and it has transformed over the years. Now, it will take the form of a modern workplace blog where I will share my learnings, findings, and hands-on tips on how to solve things!

My idea is to do this my own way and adding a personal touch to it.

So who am I?

You can find this under the About section as well.

I usually describe myself as a millennial since I’m born in that period and I identify a lot with the definition (and I do prefer avocado toast over diamonds).

I’ve worked within IT since 2011 and I’ve always worked with device management in some way or another. It all started back in 2011 when I worked with mobile device management at Sandvik IT Services. In 2013, I joined Microsoft’s MACH program as a consultant within devices, further developing and expanding my knowledge to also the Windows platform and more traditional management.

In 2017, I joined Sandvik IT Services once again, this times as a Service Manager over the client platform. In mid 2019 I switched role to become a Solution Architect in the modern workplace area. During this time, I helped drive the internal digital transformation with switching to modern productivity tools. I was also was involved in several big projects with the goal to modernize IT.

Since late 2019 I work as a Technical Specialist within devices at Advania, within the specialist unit Knowledge Factory.

I realised early on that to catch up with my senior colleges, it was a clever idea to focus Microsoft Intune since it was a new product in the Microsoft echo system where I could dive in and evolve faster. With that said, I do have knowledge of traditional management. I choose to view it as I understand what you have you in your legacy backpack to apply modern methods and helping you on your modernization journey.

My work life drive is quite simple (and you might find where the inspiration come from): I believe that everyone should be able to be as productive as possible with the tools they prefer in an uncomplicated way.

With that said, welcome to my new blog: Ola Ström – My modern workplace.

Categories
Me

My break-up story

(Originally published on LinkedIn)

Sandvik IT Services. It’s not you. It’s me….

I’ve decided it’s time to move on from Sandvik IT Services and do something else.

I started my professional career at Sandvik IT back in 2011. A young kid who didn’t really know what he wanted to do when he got older. I still don’t know, but now I have some sort of idea. I left Sandvik in 2013 and spent 4,5 years at Microsoft as a Windows consultant (or Workplace which it would be called today). In 2017 I decided to come back to Sandvik since some cool challenge was presented to me and an awesome manager was hiring.

During my time at Sandvik IT Services, we have done a ton of cool things.

  • Rolling out Windows 10 in a large global environment
  • Established servicing for Windows 10 and Office365 Pro Plus
  • Changed hardware vendor
  • Changed sourcing partner
  • I got an internal award for Passion to win (first ever to get the award)
  • Put Windows Autopilot in the production environment
  • Put co-management into the production environment (SCCM)
  • Established an awesome relationship with our partners and vendors
  • Been disruptors in enterprise IT, tried making it more punk
  • Established “no one remembers a coward” attitude in the team
  • Evangelized digital transformation
  • Engaged with next-generation information workers to get them to work with IT
  • Talked at conferences
  • Showed up in several of our vendor’s presentations and marketing material

There is even more cool stuff that I can’t think of right now.

I’ve really appreciated that I’ve been let to work towards my personal vision: everyone deserves a good digital workplace. During my time at Sandvik, I’ve really tried to reach this goal. Simple, effective, and smart workplace.

There is still work to be done, we can always improve.

I’ve also grown a lot as a person during my time at Sandvik. I’ve been given the possibility to explore and try new things. Pushing myself outside my comfort zone from time to time. But also realizing what I like doing and what I want to pursue. This is something I’m thankful that I was encouraged to do.

And finally. I’ve had so many awesome colleges. I will miss all off you terribly, not seeing you on a daily basis will leave a mark!

But now the time has come for me to move on and face new challenges. In mid-November, you will find me at Advania – Knowledge Factory as a Technical Specialist within Devices!