306 - Ant Newman
Ant is a marketing lead at Spectro Cloud, a B2B SaaS company based in Silicon Valley. Its Palette product enables platform engineering teams to simplify how they manage their Kubernetes infrastructure, from cloud to edge.
Ant works from the UK, near London.
His office space is a cozy corner of the master bedroom in quite a small terraced house, so he keeps it as clean, minimal and compact as possible.
With that said, every inch of wallspace is covered with art and design to inspire him during long working days.
Inside Ant's Workspace
- Desk: IKEA Lillasen. Nice and compact, natural bamboo.
- Chair: IKEA Hattefjall. Fairly comfortable but has turned blue from my raw denim!
- Laptop riser: IKEA Sigfinn. Goes with the desk.
- Laptop: Razer Book 13. Great screen but runs hot and atrocious battery life!
- Monitor: Dell U2520D UltraSharp. Not 4k, not particularly pretty, but it gives me a single USB-C connection for my laptop and does the job.
- Light: Benq ScreenBar Halo. Wonderful thing.
- Webcam: Lumina. Made my colleagues go ‘woah!’ when I first got it. A little buggy but great.
- Stream Deck Mini. I use it for Zoom controls mostly.
- Aranet4 CO2 monitor. Reminds me to open the window.
- Keyboard: Planck EZ. I’m a keyboard geek and have several, but I keep coming back to 40% orthos like the Planck.
- Trackball: Logitech Ergo M575. Trackballs are the best.
- Bag: Aer City Pack X-Pac. I am in love with this pack. When I work away from my desk, this takes everything.
- Notebook: Musubi Folio A5 Tomoe River
- Pen: Conid Kingsize
- Google suite
- InDesign and Illustrator
What is the most useful item in your workspace?
I can’t live without my headphones, to shut out the world with ambient music (Endel or SomaFM Drone Zone, normally). And I spend a lot of time wearing them on Zoom calls too! My preferred pair at the moment is the Bang & Olufsen H95, which offer incredible sound quality and long long battery life.
How do you spark creativity?
My work is totally digital but I always keep a paper notebook. I doodle, I jot ideas, I even draft longhand if I’m stuck with typing. It’s how I stay connected to my brain. It’s also an excuse for me to use my collection of fountain pens — I used to be a pen blogger and I have some super high-end pens. It would be a shame if they sat unused!
I am also a coffee fiend, and I can’t work without a steaming mug on my desk. I brew with a Chemex or V60 and I love my Studio Arhoj mugs.
How do you manage work-life balance?
I have two young children, so I don’t really have a choice! I take them to school and nursery in the mornings and pick them up in the afternoons, and if I’m not present for family dinners and bedtime there’s hell to pay.
But for me, I love my team, I’m excited by my work and most days I have to drag myself away from my desk. I keep up with emails and Slack on my iPhone 13 Pro round the clock.
What do you think is the main benefit of remote work?
Office environments can be fun and it’s important to have facetime with your team, so even though Spectro Cloud is fully remote, we do make time to meet up every now and again.
But for me being fully remote is fantastic. I get to avoid the cost and timesoak of the commute — I’ve spent two hours a day before in the car or on a train, and I don’t miss it. Instead I get to pop out for the school run, answer the door to couriers, and most importantly really set up my space for productivity.
My team and stakeholders are everywhere from California to India, Greece to Sweden, so there’s no advantage to me sitting in an office in London every day anyway.