Work from Home – Mobile Phones, Laptops or Desktop Computers?

Home office - work from home More and more people work from home these days than ever before. It could be a part-time job, a full-time job or a form of self-employment. I fall into the last group but I could easily fall into one of the other groups if it’s something I choose to do. I’m retired so I doubt it. Up until a year ago, I did most my work from home on a desktop computer, using a laptop when my latest desktop computer started failing. Now I use a laptop computer all the time and I’m not happy with it.

Can I Work from Home with a Mobile Phone?

When my younger son bought a Samsung Galaxy S4, I was somewhat envious. That envy quickly dissipated when I realized I would never use it for anything important. It’s not that I wouldn’t want to – it just isn’t an option where I live in the suburbs of Olongapo City, Philippines.

A mobile phone would probably suit me fine if I was going to make living in the United States a permanent thing. I would have to use accessories most people wouldn’t bother with, like a USB keyboard of some kind. The resolution isn’t an issue and the power of the phone isn’t an issue, but using an onscreen keyboard wouldn’t work for me at all. I’m a long-time touch typist (since 1975) and anything else is just plain annoying and too time-consuming for me to deal with.

Can I Work from Home with a Laptop?

Yes, I can, but not willingly. I’ve been doing exactly that and I don’t like it at all. I’ve used three different laptops over the course of the last year and not one of them has a keyboard layout I can use without hitting the wrong keys regularly. I don’t mind correcting mistakes when I know it’s me but I hate it when I know it’s because the keys are too close together.

I’m temporarily living in an extended stay apartment and I should be living in the Philippines once again by the end of the year. I have spare desktop computer monitors and spare keyboards, both PS/2 and USB. What I plan to do is use one of the laptops as a kind of docking station, with the closed laptop sitting between the monitor and the keyboard.

Can I Still Work from Home with a Desktop Computer?

I could if I still had a working desktop computer. I’m not going to buy one while I still have laptops available. When all the laptops die on me (and they will, eventually), I’ll buy a new desktop computer.

You can’t get good laptops in the Philippines for under $300 like you can in the United States. Not new ones. I’m sure I could find an old, used one for under $300, but why? How long would it last?

I can get complete desktop computer systems (not any brand names, of course) for under $500 in the Philippines and I can whittle that amount down by excluding the monitor and any other accessories I already own. I’m sure I could get what I need for under $300.

Back to the Original Question

Someday, if I live long enough, I’ll be able to work from home with any kind of device, whether it’s a mobile phone, a tablet, a laptop, a desktop computer or something that hasn’t been invented yet. I work from home because I like to work from home. If it was a real job, I doubt I would.

The advantage of using a laptop as a kind of docking station is that I could unplug all the other stuff and still use it, especially for what it’s designed to be used for, a mobile computer.

The disadvantage of using a laptop as a mobile computer is all the accessories I’d have to acquire to become a real laptop road warrior: A good laptop bag or case, extra cables and extra batteries. I suppose a roomy case I could carry like a briefcase would work well for me.

One day, perhaps.

[Photo Attribution: By Nuorten Toimitus (Nuorten Toimitus Pohjois-Satakunta-lehti) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]


 

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