Setup for hybrid work

Welcome to NoOffice, a podcast about work, technology and life from a remote company perspective.

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We're a simulated office all day long. You know, you probably are going to work from home.

Hello and welcome to No Office, No Studio, a podcast about work, technology,

and live from a remote company perspective.

My name is Rafal Sobolewski, and as always,

I'm joined by CEO of our remote company

and my good friend, Michael Sliwinski.

Michael, how are you today?

- Yeah, I'm good. I'm excited because, you know,

we are going to see each other in just a few days.

- Yes, yes. We are going for Nozbe reunion next week,

and I cannot wait to see you and the whole team to hang out.

and we will also do some volunteer work for helping Ukrainians in the city of Lublin.

Yes, we'll be in the beautiful city of Lublin.

Lublin, yeah, let's call it in Polish way.

In Polish, Lublin, it makes more sense.

It sounds strange in Lublin.

Yeah, so we will be in the city of Lublin and we're just 82 kilometers from the Ukrainian border,

so very, very close to Ukrainian border.

That's why I suppose there will be lots of refugees coming in and they are already there.

Like to this day there are more than two million people who came from Ukraine to Poland already

because of this war. So the thing is the whole purpose of Nozbe reunion is to hang out together.

It's not to work much, it's not to you know work a lot and discuss lots of things. It is a team

building exercise to just be together. That's the main purpose of the reunion. We are not

planning any special, I don't know, things to really do because we are so good at doing things

remotely and doing things in an office way that we don't really need that. We need to hang out

as people to just build a better team. So hanging out by helping others, I think it's great. I think

this is good because then we see each other in action and we help each other and we see that

that there is something we can do with our hands, with our minds, with our being.

Yes, and many people in our team asked to organize something like this,

so they can help and then we can also learn how this...

because we will go to the bigger volunteer center,

some storehouse for the staff collected for refugees.

So I think we will learn some skills there also.

That would be nice.

will be nice. Yeah, it will be nice. And so that's why I think, you know, we were when

when the war started, we were thinking or should we continue with the reunion with the

reunion in the same the same place? Like what should we do? But, you know, as long as still

hopefully there is no immediate threat of an attack from Russia. We are still safe in

Poland, but Ukrainians are not safe in Ukraine. So we have to help them as much as we can.

That's why if we can get involved, because we are already involved.

We already mentioned in the previous episodes how we are helping Ukraine.

What we haven't mentioned is that we also blocked Russians from using Nozbe.

And so we did all that.

And now let's just get our hands dirty and help others.

Can't wait.

And today we wanted to talk about hybrid work because no office as an idea is not only about working from home,

but working from many different places, the places that each employee can choose by themselves.

Yeah, that's the whole gist of my book "No Office" and we'll talk about my book actually and the

schedule of large of my book later in this episode. But the whole idea of no office lifestyle,

as I call it, is that office is a tool. You might have it, you might not have it, you don't have to

be as extreme as we are that we don't have any office. You can have an office or offices, but use

them as a tool for specific purposes but not as something that you have to go to. Work

is not the place to go, it's a thing you do. That's why I think the future will be hybrid.

The future will be hybrid in that sense that people will sometimes work from the office

and sometimes they will not. It just depends on how they will feel in the moment, how they

will see it, and that's why I think this is the future. Yeah, I think even that it's a present

Already, I have many friends that used to work like in the office, going to the office, doing some IT work.

And now they work like, for example, four days from home and one day in a week they go to the office.

I see that also in my close environment of people who used to go to the office all the time.

You know, because of the two years of the pandemic, I think people felt the freedom and felt finally what we've been saying all these years.

that it is possible to work from home. Like, you know, Rafal, you remember before 2019 everybody

would be like, before 2020 actually, so still in 2019, people would still tell us, "No, no, no,

working from home is impossible. It wouldn't work in our case." And now people have felt the freedom.

They have felt that sometimes when they stay at home, they are very productive because there are

no disruptions, no unnecessary meetings. They can just get stuff done, write so many things,

work on these concepts.

People see this flexibility.

But I would argue that one of the main prerequisites

of hybrid to work is to let people decide.

It's not force them like Apple.

You have to be on this day in the office and this day you may, maybe not.

You have to be able to have the agency to choose.

I'm going to office on Monday, but I'm not going to office on Tuesday.

You should decide based on what you think, how you see your work, how you see your team.

you should be able to decide. Yes, exactly. And with this approach, I think before 2020,

Office was a tool for the management, for the company management, yeah? To gather all the

employees. Yeah, exactly. Now with this hybrid approach for the companies who embraced it,

the Office became a tool for your employees. So they can choose to work from the Office if they

need to, if they, for example, don't have a spare room in the home to create a home

office environment that, well, they could do a focus work, or for some reason they prefer

to work from office. As I said, they can choose to go to the office for only one or two days

per week, which is actually, I think it's a perfect solution because it gives you always

a small change of the daily routine is always stimulating your creativity.

Yeah, the first thing, as we agreed, you have to let people decide when they use the tool

of an office, when they use it, how they use it. And again, they should be able to choose

it based on all these circumstances, you know, how the team is working, how is the progress

on projects, like everything like this. So this is the one thing. Second, because it's

flexible place. Suddenly people can, for example, come to the office a little bit later. For

example, they can do some work in the morning at home and then go when there is no more

traffic jams. Like, you know, like just think about it. Normally everybody goes around seven

or eight a.m. Right. So then there are all the traffic jams. But I see that with lots

of my friends that they just come to the office later because they know that they can do some,

morning catch up email whatever like stuff in you know with their own coffee in the morning

and then they go to the office around 11 there is nobody on the streets and they just drive

instead of being stuck in a one hour in traffic jam it takes them 20 minutes for example and

then they are there and then they get stuff done in the office and then they also they

choose the time when they come back I think it's brilliant that's the way to go this hybrid

work or working from home really. You can save many hours per year by not commuting with a car

during rush hours. And one thing I miss from going to the office is morning commute, but not in a car,

but riding a bike. So now when we finally, like pandemic is, it's not over yet, but currently we

are in the good moment. I started having my Fridays away from my home office.

That's brilliant. Yeah, go to some coffee place or to local community center or

just grab my MacBook and iPad and just ride a bike for some time and

work from some places. Yeah, I mean that's what it

should be all about. So this kind of freedom to work like this. So that's the

prerequisite of hybrid. But to do hybrid, well, it does require some involvement

from the management, because things have to be organized differently. For once,

meetings. Let's talk about meetings. So first of all, if you go to,

you will understand why you don't have to have so many meetings, how we do

meetings, and that meetings are optional, regular, and well-prepared.

And you will learn more about that there. But the idea about meetings is

that because we are in a hybrid world, meetings have to be virtual, all of them, even if most

of the people are in the office. And because, I mean, this was, according to my friends

who changed the lifestyle from going to office all the time, they said that this made a huge

difference because before the pandemic, some of them did have some flexibility to work

from home. But because every day they would have a meeting, they would barely go home

because they stay home because they would know, "Oh man, I have a meeting so I

better go. I have a meeting again. I better go." But now that meetings are

virtual first, nobody is in disadvantage. Some people who are in the office,

great, but some people who are not in the office, all of them meet virtually. So the

meeting is happening virtually and this way nobody is left out and everybody's

treated on the same footing. It's not like the "we in the office and

and the other guys.

- Yes, exactly.

And you don't feel left out.

I remember such situations in my previous job.

It was like back in 10 years ago.

- Many years ago, man.

- Even, yeah.

20 years ago, yeah, I had the possibility

to work from home for one day in a week

if I asked my boss.

But still, if I'm not at the meeting,

or I cannot, yeah, the people were used to make decisions

based on face-to-face meetings.

In the coffee, et cetera.

And now with this hybrid approach,

the company must be set up the way

that everyone can work from home.

And the communication is asynchronous,

and if meetings are required, meetings are all virtual.

And that way, it works.

It really works.

Look at our reunion,

because there is always this pressure

from people who want to keep the things how they were.

Like everyone should be in the office

to build the company's culture.

But company's culture is built not by hanging out

in the kitchen in the office with coffee,

but by doing great work together.

And that's why our Nords-Billions are so great

because we are building company culture every day

by working asynchronously,

And then we can meet and hang out,

and we really love to spend time together.

We are not tired of each other.

- Exactly.

And when you think about it,

it's another myth that has been broken.

Because again, people would look at us pre-pandemic

and say, "Yeah, virtual meetings are okay,

but it's not the same as when we can be in the same room,

the chemistry is there, you know,

the vibrations and everything.

This is just, this makes the meeting so much different."

Now, the same people who have virtual meetings are saying,

no, virtual meetings are pretty good.

They're pretty great.

I feel very well connected with my team.

It's something we've been saying all the time.

Like on our design fight meeting

or on our director's meeting when we have coffee together,

we have a good meeting.

We laugh, we shout, we quarrel, we fight, we do everything.

It's a very serious meeting.

Okay, we cannot punch each other

because we're not in the same place,

But you know, punching somebody is not really good anyway.

So don't try this at work.



- Yeah, but we cannot high five.

- We cannot high five.

Yeah, that's the major drawback.

But apart from that, apart from not being able to high five,

everything works.

The meetings are real.

The meetings are exhausting.

So they are real.

This is true.

So again, I'm happy that this other myth is being debunked

by just explaining to,

but just experiencing it themselves,

like by seeing a virtual first meeting is fine.

We feel we are in there together.

And then when you have the office,

when some of you from this meeting are in the office anyway,

then after the meeting, go have a coffee and hang out.

You know, don't spend the time on the meeting together,

but just, you know, do the virtual meeting

and then go get a coffee.

This way you socialize, you create this culture,

you create this bond.

- That's true.

But to be fair, I think a virtual meeting,

at least for me, are more exhausting than face-to-face meeting.

But that is why you should optimize for asynchronous communication

and do meetings only if they are really needed.

But why are they more exhausting for you?

Do you know? Can you pinpoint?

I think it requires more focus, more active focus,

to really be focused on the conversation

and not be distracted by the other things on the screen.

OK, that's true.

Because if we have physical meeting,

like we are in the same room,

it's obvious that we don't have laptops opened

and we only have some notes.

- That's one of the reasons why when we have a meeting,

I prefer to put Zoom in full screen mode

or half screen mode Zoom

and then the other half screen, the notes for this meeting

and nothing else.

So this way, the rest of the stuff from the screen is gone.

So I'm not tempted by other distractions,

by other notifications, by other things.

For example, yesterday we had the equality support meeting.

This is the meeting where we review support tickets

and see what we can improve

and what are the common requests now and all that stuff.

And for that meeting, for example,

I have a shortcut on my iPad

and I have it on my iPad actually, the meeting,

'cause I enjoy it like this.

So I have a shortcut that it shows me Zoom

and Dropbox Paper where we have the notes for the meeting

in split screen.

speedly. So this way on zoom I can see the people and then I have on the other

side I have the the notes and this way I can just go through the notes with the

team and just you know see people with camera and and I'm not distracted that

much and actually to make the meeting kind of more casual I just take my

iPad and sit on the couch so that it's just you know it's more comfortable it's

more like relaxed. So there are ways to make to making you know virtual meetings

a little bit less stressful.

Yeah, I need to try this to take my MacBook or iPad to the couch or to my com feature

and have a meeting there.

Yeah, I think so. I like it like this. I actually started enjoying having, for example, QoS

meeting like this. Very comfortable. So this is another prerequisite to hybrid. And now

I would also like to talk about the actual gadgets,

so the actual computers and stuff,

that should be enabled by the company

for the employees to be fully hybrid.

And we will be talking about this

because our actually setups have changed.

My setup has changed, yours has improved,

but mine has changed almost completely.

So we'll talk about it right after the break.

But first, before the break, I want to just point it out.

And this is one of the companies I know, it's a big company, and this company did it already

before the pandemic, which was a brilliant move. They gave everyone, so everybody had a computer

at their desk before 2019. And then in 2019, they had this whole push to give everyone a laptop.

This way, people could just connect the laptop to their screens in the office. And if they wanted

to work remotely from home, you know, once a week maybe, before the pandemic. Now they're

working more. So they could just take the laptop with them. So this way they can, they

have everything set up. And because this company is pretty, you know, pretty security conscious,

they have the VPNs and all that stuff set up. So they wanted the laptops to be really

well set up so that when they connect to, you know, even external Wi Fi, they automatically,

the laptop connects using the VPN, all that stuff. So that it's all secure, and then it's

all done in a very secure way. And the company wanted to control it. That's why they gave

the laptops and they set up the laptops for the team members. What they didn't do initially

is they didn't give additional screens to the homes of these people. But of course,

as pandemic hit, they realized, "Oh, crap, we need the screens." I was actually ahead

of the curve because once my wife got the laptop, I bought her a screen right away because

I thought, you know, she needs a screen for that anyway. But that's what I'm saying, that the

company should provide a laptop, a company mandated laptop for example, or the same kind of laptop.

We have our preferences, we'll talk about later, but a good laptop and an external screen both in

the office and at home. And because some screens are not that expensive as Max Studio Display,

which we'll talk about it later. But some screens are usually pretty cheap.

I mean good panels actually, good screens are pretty cheap. So it's not really a

big expense, but it's a boost of productivity that

people can just go to their home, connect the laptop to the

screen and to the charger and just work, and then go back to the office, do the

very same thing and just continue working. Also another

pro tip, two chargers. One charger at work, one charger at home.

Because traveling with chargers doesn't make any sense, because

you will forget the charger and then you will be screwed. So the best way is to have a charger

both at home and at work. Actually, the good display should have a charger built in via USB-C

for a laptop. That would be the best. But of course, we know that reality in many companies,

they just buy the cheapest one. Yeah, I mean, they do all these things like they have this offer from

from an IT company for like, I don't know, 100 laptops.

So they go with the cheaper option

because it's 100 laptops.

So when you can save 100 euros on 100 laptops,

it's 10,000 euros.

So it is of savings.

But I would argue that laptops should be good

because I've seen really crappy laptops

being given to people and it's not good

because then they're not compatible with the screens

or they're doing something.

So you have a 4K screen and you want to connect the laptop and it's only 30Hz instead of 60Hz?

So you are hurting your eyes while working?

Yes, so all these things.

I think the company should step up here to just make sure that people have the same setup.

And the good thing is that then they can change the setup in the office because they don't

need as many spaces to work for people because usually not everyone will be at work.

So they can actually save some money on the setups and do more like kind of hot desking

environment where people just choose a desk, get a desk which is available, connect their

laptop and it just works.

And that's it.

I mean, when I was reading about many businesses, I was reading, for example, about Ryanair


Ryanair Airlines is my favorite airline because it connects my two favorite cities.

have to choose them. But Rainer is the cheap airline of Europe. It's the biggest airline in

Europe but also is the low fares airlines. And one of the ways how they get low fares is because they

have the same planes. They don't have a fleet of different planes. All of them are Boeing 737-800.

All of them. Now they are upgrading to a newer model, so newer version of it, but it's still the

the same plane. So for everyone, for the flight attendants, for the pilots, it's the same

plane every time. They don't have to learn new things. They don't have to go through

a different checklist in each plane. It's all the same. The parts are the same. If you

need to upgrade parts or get some more parts for maintenance, it's all the same. And I

think this is the key for the companies. That companies should decide one year, "We're going

buy these laptops and these screens and then there is no like you know I don't

have the cable I don't have that it's all the same so people can just connect

and it's uniform you know some people don't like uniformity I understand that

but here it's for productivity for just making it just easier for the whole

company to work that's that's very good approach all right so shall we take a

break right now and yeah right so now office podcast is sponsored by nosbe the

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We tried different project management tools for the first couple years when I was with the organization I currently am, CCMA.

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For us, it's simple.

We have some members of our team who are very tech savvy and some who aren't as tech savvy.

So to find one tool that actually is usable for all those is not easy.

We did dabble in a couple of competitors and they were just too much.

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What our team needed was something simple, reliable, trustworthy, something that was

fun and attractive and enjoyable to use.

And so Nozomi Teams has really fit for us.

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You know, I think I went to the five person plan to six.

It was not a big deal.

So that's nice because it's flexible for us.

It just gives us a place to park everything,

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So we don't want to be emailing within our team.

We're not perfect at that, but we want to cut down on that.

We want to cut down on interruptions during the day.

And so I'll try anything

that will help accomplish those two things.

So for us, Nozbe Teams really fits that need

that we have as a small team.

And we're back and that's the time we will geek out.


Because there was an Apple event, our favorite company event, they announced some stuff.

I'm not buying anything from these announcements, but I'm still excited about them.

So maybe let's talk about it for five, ten minutes and then we can jump to what we have

recently changed in our setups and how it connects with all this hybrid work approach.

Exactly, because really today our setups, our home office setups, will be very connected

to the subject of hybrid work. So stay with us with that.

Yes, and also to the subject kind of about new stuff that Apple showed us, because you

were hoping for the new iMac, the new big iMac, but I think it's not going to happen.

I've been using, as you know, in my home office, a 27-inch 5K iMac for the last seven years.

The same iMac. Really, I haven't changed a computer, my main home office computer, in seven

years. Because for me, the 27-inch iMac is kind of an additional computer to my iPad, because iPad is

my main work device. And I just liked the 27-inch screen, retina 27-inch screen, where I could just

put things it's a very good reference point and it's a good you know thing to

have so yeah this was my I was hoping that after the 24 inch iMac was

launched last year they will just upgrade 27 inch also with new design

also with you know the M1 processor M1 max pro ultra whatever in the end

they killed the 27 inch iMac there is no 27 inch iMac they launched a 27 inch

screen. So you can get a 5K 27 inch display, which is great. But also, if you want to have

a computer for the office, you would just need to buy the Mac Studio, the new Mac Studio.

Because it's a Mac for your studio, not for the office.

Exactly. It's a Mac for your studio. And because I don't have a studio, I have an office, it

doesn't fit.

So they launched the 27-inch display with a Mac Studio display and then the computer

with the super ultra fantastic very fast processor.

Actually the studio display is what many users were asking Apple for years and they are very

happy right now because it's what they wanted.

the same screen which iMac had, but just the display that you can connect to your Mac Mini, to Mac Studio or to Macbook.

Yeah, I'm still kind of sad that my 27-inch iMac is going away and the one that I have has very good display.

It has some image retention issues, but apart from that it's a pretty good display.

But I cannot use it as a display. It's impossible to change it to just a display.

So I will have to sell it with the display.

And yeah, that's, so I think, I think people are skeptical.

You know, some people just like me initially were sad,

but I think in the grand scheme of things they did right.

I mean, if you need an all-in-one, get the 24 inch.

It's big enough.

It's beautiful, beautiful.

So if you need it for reception,

for like for all these other things that you really need

a nice fancy all-in-one, get a 24 inch.

It's great and it has an M1 processor, it's plenty fast, it's a great computer.

So, and it is colorful, really, so many colors.

So it's a good thing.

But for professional use, it's actually better and more modular to have the computer and

the screens.

And of course, Apple was supposed to launch a screen many years ago because they have,

just like you have, the 14-inch or the 16-inch MacBook Pros which were asking for an additional

and people had to figure out screen situations just like you did, because there was no other

option from Apple. Yes, that's true. And now with this change, iMac finally is the computer that

it was launched originally in the 90s or in 2000? No, the first iMac in the 90s, yes. In the 90s,

yeah. And it was the consumer line computer, yeah? And with years, it became like consumer plus

professionals. So prosumer. And yeah, and we even had iMac Pro, which is kind of the same

four factor, but some better cooling, etc. And now they don't compromise on this anymore.

They just gave what really these people like that has studios really want because this, I think this

modular approach is much better and you can have a nice display and update a computer to this display

after a couple of years. Exactly. So Rafa, my question to you, because you got the MacBook Pro

when the MacBook Pros launched and you needed a display for that. You figured out a solution,

as we discussed in the previous episodes, so aren't you tempted to get the

Mac Studio Display? Not at all. Why not? Not at all, Michael. Because like I was afraid that I

if I decide to buy some display before Apple announced they own display dedicated to those

MacBooks I will be sad but after the conference after having my new display right here for half

the price of studio display I'm really good because yeah 5k is really nice for 27 inch

Display, but you really don't need it? Like, okay, there will be some group of people who really need this

Pixel density, but I have my display like I don't know 60 centimeters away from my from my eyes

So you don't need pixel density to be so high at iPhone or iPad level


The font the image is really sharp with 4k at 27 or even 32 inch which which option I finally

chosen because now I have 4k Philips Momentum 32 inch display which is I will add a podcast

chapter so you can see it yeah and it is it is really nice really big I have plenty of space to

put even like six apps side by side I still have some place to grab files from the desktop and the

The image is really sharp.

I don't see any pixels.

My eyes are fine.

And I'm really glad I bought this

because I wanted to have one display

that I can connect to my MacBook,

but also to my PlayStation for fun, for gaming.

And this screen supports a high refresh rate.

- Yes.

- 120 Hertz via HDMI 2.1.

And I have it connected via HDMI 2.5, 2.1 with.

PlayStation 5, but also it supports 120Hz 4K via USB-C to my MacBook.

But what I've learned by using it, it's when you have the display that far away from your eyes,

you really don't notice the difference that much between 60Hz and 128Hz.

So, yeah, because when I have 128Hz via USB-C to my MacBook, the USB-A hub that is built into this display,

I have four USB-A ports and I'm using all of them, are USB 2.0 if I choose 128Hz.

If I switch to 4K 60Hz, now they are USB 3.0.

and I need 3.0 bandwidth to connect this camera so it doesn't have a lag and to connect my ethernet

because with USB 2.0 it limits it to 300 megabits per second and I have one gigabit

bandwidth so yeah and it has ambiguous lights as you can see in the picture

so it looks really nice and yeah and I love it. I mean the display comes with these lights? Yes

it has it built in. Cool. Yeah, it's Philips. Like I have a Philips, Philips, you know, TV screen,

and with Ambilight and it's glorious. It's perfect for watching, you know, for watching Netflix and

stuff. So, yeah. Okay. So even the monitors have the Ambilight. Nice. Yeah, like gaming monitors

are the are the growing market right now. Because it is a gaming monitor, right? Yeah, it is. It is

dedicated for gaming. It has not even like Xbox certified something sticker. Okay.

- Okay.

- So yeah, yeah, and the gaming, and it has HDR.

So the screen is really bright,

but I use it only for gaming because for office work,

it would burn my eyes if I use it for office work.

Yeah, I really like it.

I've set it for, for scaled mode.

So I have screen real estate is 3008 pixels per 1692.

It's exactly, the screen in your state is exactly the same

as on 6K Apple XDR display.

- Wow. - So yeah, and I love it.

And recently we discovered this rectangle app

that is open source app to manage windows.

So we have the keyboard shortcuts.

You can put the windows into Apple left corner

in the center, et cetera, et cetera.

There are many options and it, yeah, it works great.

Plus, which is really nice to talking about windows

and resizing them, Nozbe app and Nozbe web app

and beta Mac app is responsive right now.

- Yes.

- So you can really have a small narrow window

of your own one task or only on priority list

for your focus work.

And that's really nice when you want to have many windows

in the screen.

That's how it looks like right now.

And I think that's the way to go

because it is half of this monitor costs

half the price of studio display.

So actually with the price of Studio Display,

I could buy two of them, one for home office

and second to other office if I had one.

- Yeah, especially for your usage,

when you want to use this screen for both work and play

because you want to connect the PlayStation and stuff.

So with Max Studio Display, this wouldn't be possible.

You wouldn't be able to do it like this.

- It would be possible.

I could connect PlayStation 5,

but I wouldn't get 128 hertz.

Yeah, and I would need a special cable for it and et cetera.

- Yeah, and also you would have to actually plug

and unplug the cables and stuff, right?

Like you wouldn't be able to do it.

- Yes, yes, because there's only one input, yeah?

The other three ports are USB-C,

and they are only for USB hub, yeah.

- Exactly, so actually for user use case,

this monitor is better than the MaxLitre display,

and it's half the price.

- Yeah, but to be fair, it takes,

When I grab my MacBook and put it on the plate next to the monitor and connect monitor, it takes like 2-3 seconds to pop up the Mac OS on this big display.

In MacStudio Display, it's just instant.

That's true. There is no argument that the MacStudio Display has some really nice, cool Apple features.

It is, I'm sure, designed nicer than your screen because it's all aluminum, it's very, very beautiful.

Also, it works perfectly with the Max, so it's totally.

But on the other hand, the price is okay-ish.

It's not very expensive, but it's also not very cheap.

It's still $1600, so it's pretty steep for a screen.

So I was actually going to order it.

And what happened?

I placed my order.

Oh, you even placed your order?

Yeah, I placed my order.

with my reseller, but then when my reseller said that I have to pay now for the thing

to order, and I was like, "Ah, no." So what happened was that I figured out that I have

a good 4K 27-inch screen, the one that my wife was using, and I can get her actually

a 28-inch 4K display that will be compatible with her crappy Windows laptop that she got

from the office and for her it would be the same and one inch more actually of the screen

estate so for her it would be the same anyway and for me the the the display that she had

it's a it's a 4k LG display which cost me like $500 I think and it it charges the laptop

from USB C and it doesn't charge her laptop from USB C because her laptop is a Windows

laptop and oh yeah I'm sorry for crapping on Windows to this this much but there is

a difference really. Like, her laptop is not retina display. After being in the Mac, I

wouldn't be able to work on this thing. I'm too posh for that right now anymore. Just

kidding. But I'm just used to the retina screen. And what happened to me is that I actually

had an M1 MacBook Air, which I didn't have, because I ordered it a year ago, and I rented

it to Raju, my podcast co-host, because he had his old MacBook Pro and he was waiting

for the M1 MacBook Pro.

And in the meantime, he wanted to do some work on M1 processors to make sure that everything

that we do at Nozbe works with M1.

So he borrowed from me and he didn't want to give it back.

And finally, he gave it back when he got the 14-inch MacBook Pro, just like you did.

And I visited him in his home and I got my MacBook Air back.

And when I got the MacBook Air back, I was, as everyone else, blown away by the M1 speeds.

Like this computer is just glorious.

It's a MacBook Air.

So it's the least powerful of the Apple laptops.

But it's still, for me, for my use, it's plenty powerful.

It's like I don't need more power.

It has no fans, so it's completely quiet.

And it just works beautifully, really beautifully.

- Yeah, you got some features of your iPad into the MacBook.

- Exactly, and of course, with my old iMac,

I couldn't be on the latest Monterey anymore

because my iMac is so old.

And here I'm on the latest Monterey,

so I'm on the latest Mac OS, which is great

because I wanted to be on the latest processor,

sorry, operating systems here.

So I got the MacBook Air,

and then I got the same conundrum, like which screen to get.

And I wanted to be Apple-only setup

to get the Mac studio display.

But when I connected my wife's,

I decided I'm gonna connect my wife's screen first

to see how it works.

And I was blown away, it works very well.

It charges my MacBook Air, it works very well,

it works very fast, it's fantastic.

And the screen, again, I also upscaled it.

I don't have it in Retina 4K, but I have it upscaled.

So basically I get the same screen state that I had

with my iMac anyway.

And I don't see the pixels anyway, so it's fine.

>> Yeah, the font is very sharp.

>> Exactly, so it's fine.

So really in the end, I thought, you know, why?

And I have a very good webcam.

I have the Brio, which I use for normal video conferencing.

And here you can see me, of course, with my super camera,

Sony camera.

But normally I use Logitech Brio,

which is plenty enough webcam.

Actually, it's better webcam than the Maxo display has,

because Logitech is 4K.

So I have the very good webcam.

And the only thing I don't have is very good speakers

'cause the LG monitor speakers are okay-ish.

- But you have a HomePod mini.

- I don't have HomePod mini anymore here in my office,

so I might get it again.

I had to use it for different purpose,

so it's not here anymore.

But HomePod mini can be like a speakers,

like for the Mac, right?

- I think, yeah.

It supports AirPlay, so it should be.

- Okay, I'll check it out.

So anyway, apart from that, everything works.

So I decided to stick with it.

So the only thing to figure out was,

and I'm not gonna bore you with the whole setup,

how to do, like how many hubs, USB hubs I had to figure out

because the MacBook Air has only two ports.

So I had to figure out all these ports

and hubs and everything.

I'm gonna write it up at some point on my blog

for all the curious people how to figure it out.

- Yeah, I saw that you have a hub connected to a hub.

- Exactly, I have a hub connected to a hub

And this way, I can use all these two ports

and have full bandwidth everywhere I need.

So for example, the same what you said,

to have full bandwidth here for the Sony camera,

not to have any lag.

And to the ethernet.

And to the ethernet, I have 1 gigabit ethernet thanks to that.

So all these things had to be precisely connected.

But the good thing is I figured it out.

And pretty cheaply, though, I didn't

need to buy a fancy $200 or $300 Thunderbolt 4 hub or something like this.

Actually, pretty cheaply I could figure it out. It works. That's why I can tell you honestly,

let's go back to the hybrid work. For me, the best recommendation for people for hybrid

mode is get the MacBook Air for your team. The MacBook Air is really great. And unless

you're a developer or unless you really need the power of the M1 Pro or M1 Max, MacBook

Air, the M1 processor, is fantastic. It's enough for most of the use cases, so get the

MacBook Airs and get them an external screen. And that's it, and you're set. It's fantastic.

So for me, this would be the recommendation. And if you calculate the price, one MacBook

Air is $1,000. A good LG 4K is $500. So at one and a half grand, you're actually cheaper

than the whole max of the display. So this is my ultimate recommendation for a home office


- So you're now using MacBook Air,

and do you use it only on your desk,

or it happens that you grab it and use it,

for example, on your lap instead of your iPad?

- I still prefer to use my iPad for most of the things,

but because I had to do lots of Mac setting up,

so I'm still finishing setting up my Mac,

because I wanted to have everything set up

the way I had it.

- Yeah, me too, actually, after almost three months.

(both laughing)

- Yeah, so for that, very often,

I just take the laptop and just work on the laptop,

somewhere at home.

And I think this is additional mind change for me

because I had the 5K, the iMac, and it was great.

But the problem with a computer like this is first,

you have to have a kind of power management thing,

so a UPS to make sure that when the electricity dies,

and sometimes it does, that the Mac doesn't die instantly

because the normal computers don't have batteries.

So the Mac dies in the same moment.

So you have to have the power thing handled.

When you have a laptop, laptop doesn't die.

It has batteries.

Actually, right now, because I'm using the Sony camera,

and because I'm using this external display,

a small external display, 10-inch display

in the teleprompter, I had to unplug my main 4K display.

So I'm running off the battery of the MacBook Air,

and it's running fine.

So the MacBook Air has great battery and the cool thing is that it wouldn't die when you have a power problem.

But additional thing, what you just said.

Sometimes you just want to grab the laptop and work from a different place.

Just sit by the kitchen counter and just go through things.

Organize your files, whatever.

And for that, you cannot take your iMac with you.

It's basically soldered to your home office.

but when you have a laptop it's more flexible. I think in the end I am going to be a convert to just

this, you know, laptop plus a screen lifestyle instead of having a big 27 inch computer all in

one or whatever. And I don't need the ultra power of the of the Mac Studio computer anyway, so I'm

not tempted at all. And I'm telling you the M1 processor is fine by me, it's for my use, it's more

than enough so there is no need for me to even have the MacBook Pro. I have the MacBook Air and

I'm happy with it. So really in the end I really appreciate this new setup and as I mentioned again

in the hybrid, you know, hybrid app part of our episode this gives you the flexibility that you

can have the laptop which you can use anywhere on your own on a train when you're traveling whatever

but also you can just hook it up to a big screen in your office or at home in your home office and

and you're good to go and you're productive.

And with me, for example, I have this external keyboard as well.

I have my external trackpad, I have my Logitech mouse,

so I have everything here connected so it works perfectly.

I'm not using the laptop keyboard when I'm in my home office.

It's elevated, as you could see in the picture that Rafal showed you.

It's elevated and this way it's more ergonomic, it's higher.

It's right below my teleprompter as you can see on the photo, but it's perfect.

Yeah, I'm a convert, Rafał.

That's nice, but the question is, do you bring your M1 MacBook Air with you to Nosbu reunion?


So iPad still remains your main mobile computer?

Yeah, it's definitely my mobile computer.

And as we mentioned, it's not like on the reunion we're going to get so much work done.

Yes, exactly.

We have plans like one or two hours per day of work.

Yes, exactly. And my iPad is also very versatile. I have all the dongles, for example, to put the screen on the projector and all that stuff. So I really don't need the laptop for that.

And so no, I'm not planning to go with my laptop anywhere. I travel. I still travel with my beautiful 13-inch iPad Pro, and it's still my main mobile device. I mean, it's still my main device, actually.

My laptop in my home office is still my home office computer.

It sometimes leaves the home office here and there, but it's still kind of my local computer.

While my main computer, whenever I get work done, I take the iPad.

This hasn't changed.

Because you know, Federico Vitecci even admitted that he's changing his setup to hybrid setup between MacBook Pro and iPad Pro.

Well, I understand it.

I saw that also other people are doing that, but I don't need that.

I need my laptop, my Mac here to locally download things, to have local copies here,

or local backup, all that stuff. I need that for it. But I don't need it for really getting work

done because I really get my work done. I have everything set up very well on my iPad. I have

my shortcuts. Okay, some of the shortcuts I will migrate to the to the to the Mac of course,

but I have really like I prefer working on the iPad. It's just more joy. It has a touch screen

which I really love. The touch screen is really joy, but yeah, I really want to test this new

universal control. It finally, they finally shipped it to macOS Monterey 12.3 I guess, and I tested it

initially and there are some lags with my Bluetooth mouse and keyboards but it

worked well if I had my MacBook Pro disconnected from external display so

for traveling it would be actually a very nice setup like MacBook Pro plus

iPad mini next to it as additional screen that I can run iPad apps there.

Yeah I haven't to be honest I haven't tried Universal Control yet so I'm gonna

test it today or tomorrow more extensively. Especially that I got a very cool stand for my

iPad. I'm going to show it on the camera. It's a very cool stand. We're going to add it as a

chapter mark in the podcast. It's a very cool stand for the iPad. This way I can use the iPad

also in a vertical way because it works magnetically. I put the iPad, I can put it

horizontal or vertical. And vertical I can just type more and I can use the same

keyboard, external keyboard I have. I have Logitech keyboard and I can just switch

the Bluetooth devices and this way I can just work on the...

You don't have to switch, you can use universal control.

I can use universal control, exactly. So it's even better. That's why I'm going to test it.

I'm going to see how it works. And by the way, one of the things I'm blown away is this

this old Logitech keyboard.

This is a Logitech K760, I think.

Yes, K760.

And it's a solar keyboard.

So it actually charges with the solar,

with sun and with light.

And this keyboard is no longer available for purchase.

And this keyboard is like, I don't know, 10 years old now.

- Yeah, I remember I had this exact keyboard

when I was joining Knowsby.

- And it's glorious, this keyboard.

I'm so happy that I still have it

because it has the Bluetooth switches,

so I can switch to my old iMac still,

which because I'm still transferring data

and all that stuff.

So I can switch to my old iMac,

I can switch to my new Mac,

and I can switch to the iPad if I want to,

and then I will use universal control,

but still I can switch between devices very easily

with this keyboard,

and I have never charged it in my life

because of the solar thing.

It just charges with the solar.

So it's very nice to appreciate some devices

that just last a lifetime, so many years.

Speaking of keyboards, I will have a new keyboard in two months.


Yeah, again.


Yeah, I solved the previous one, the previous mechanical keyboard I had.

Now I use my old Microsoft card ergonomic.

But yeah, let's leave it for now.

I will talk it in two months.


That will be a surprise.

All right, so I think we can wrap up this episode.

Guys, thanks for listening.

And remember that what day is tomorrow, Michael?

It's Friday.

Yes, so make it mighty fly day.

Do your weekly review plan priorities for next week

and spend the rest of the day off

on learning something new, some new skills,

or test the tools you are using for day-to-day work,

explore new features, for example,

and have a great weekend.

If you enjoyed this episode,

please help support this podcast

either by sharing it with a friend

or leaving us a nice review in Apple Podcast.

or the best thing you can do is to check out our Nozbe app.

That's it for today.

Say goodbye, Michael.

- And if you go to,

you will be redirected to our Nozbe website,

where you'll learn all about Mighty Fridays,

also how to do a good weekly review.

So everything is there,

and you'll be able to set up your Nozbe account

from there, just right there as well.

So, go there.

- Yes, and next month, after the reunion,

we will run a product blog about Mighty Fly Days.

so we will actually show in our Nozbe accounts how we approach Fridays inside the application.

Alright, so stay tuned. That's it. Goodbye.

This episode has not been created in the office, because in Nozbe, there is no office.

Your hosts were Mica Stravinsky and Rafa Sobolevski.

All the links and show notes you can find on

The whole production process of this episode has been coordinated in a project in the Nozbe app.

Work is not a place to go, it is a thing that you do.

Thank you and see you in two weeks. Remember to have a mighty Friday!

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Creators and Guests

Michael Sliwinski
Michael Sliwinski
Leading @Nozbe #productivity app | Writing #NoOffice book on #iPadOnly | Blog: | Husband & father of 3. 🐘 Find me at
Rafał Sobolewski
Rafał Sobolewski
I work remotely #NoOffice and build Nozbe for almost 10 years. 🚄 I'm really into: bikes, trams, trains and urban planning. ⚽️📷 My other hobbies/interests are: #Apple #tech #football #soccer #fcbarcelona #photogtaphy #mobilePhotography 🇵🇱🇺🇸🇪🇸 I speak english, spanish and polish (native). Get in touch 👋
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