New Office Setup Advice Needed

Hey MPU,

Need help on a office setup (or maybe just a simple workflow setup)

My wife and I share an office. I have a MacBook Pro hooked up to an external monitor (and it hasn’t moved from its spot for 2 years going on 3) I also have a 12.9 iPad Pro (Gen 3) as well that I use when I am out on the road.

Her work functions are changing, meaning she now has to be on the phone regularly. This also means I can’t record anything or do any audio edits comfortably. While at the same time, while she works, I take care of the baby in between and then we trade off.

I don’t have another room to setup an office, unless I switch my small garage that I use as a gym into a second office.

Solutions that I see (chime in please)

  1. Keep setup as is and just do opposite timing (which will affect family time eventually)
  2. Pull the MacBook Pro out of the office, buy and a put Mac Mini in there. (In theory should allow me to do stuff during the day while with the baby while sitting on the dining room table or something
  3. Try to do everything fully from the iPad Pro on the dining room table

I probably don’t see myself recording outside of the office room, that will probably an evening only thing at this point. Thoughts?

Noise Cancelling headphones?

Why would you need a Mac Mini in the office whilst having a MacBook Pro in the Dining Room. Do both need to be operated at the same time?

Having the MacBook Pro in the dining room would allow me to work on things while being with baby (research, reading, writing)

Having the Mac Mini would allow any recording that needs to be done, be done in there.

I know the easy solution would be unplug the MacBook Pro from the external monitor, but I am not a fan of unplugging every hub, wire, etc on a daily basis. Eventually something there will be break.

Noise-cancelling headphones…looking into the usage so I don’t forget about the baby LOL

I’d buy a mac mini, but I tend to throw technology at problems that may or may not be technology-based.

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You only think you’ll get work done and watch the baby at the same time. In actuality very little work gets done!


Haha. I am a veteran parent, not my first kid.
But prior, the family, work, and living structure was different.

First time, my wife and I can’t be in the same office, because she will be taking phone calls.

My question is, what does your wife need?
Sounds like you need the office and the equipment therein. What equipment does your wife need? Can she work from the dining room? A bedroom?

Unfortunately she cannot. Her work has everything hardwired in the room. Separate internet line, etc. For example, if we need to move her to a different room in the house, or simply need an extension of a wire. Can’t do it myself. She has to submit the request to the IT and explain. Her setup isn’t portable.

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So far my conclusions are while getting the Mac Mini might be great and I can setup shop in another room.

The cheapest “free” option would be to do any recording after she is done with work for the day.

Build your wife a very nice and comfortable office.
Do something OK for you in the garage.
Get a Gym membership :wink:


Why not disconnect the MacBook and move to the dining room and then reconnect when back to the monitor? Only takes 10 secs to connect and reconnect.

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I use almost every port on MacBook Pro (Mid 2014). The daily plugging in and out will eventually cause wear and tear on something to give out.

Using a Thunderbolt dock could take care of (un)plugging everything. My MBP moves between my work and home offices every day and I’ve never come close to wearing out the single port that I use for connecting it to external displays, network, and a bunch of USB peripherals in both locations. (It has TB3, so even power is taken care of through a single connector. With a 2014 Mac, you’d have to do that part separately, but I don’t think MagSafe has any danger of wearing out.)

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Same. Over the four years I’ve had my mid-2015, I estimate about 9,000 connect/disconnect cycles on at least one mini-DSP, USB, and power.

@ACautionaryTale @JohnAtl
Any recommendations for a good thunderbolt dock?

I’ve used the Belkin docks for both TB2 and TB3 based systems and have been happy with them.

Sorry, no, never owned a TB dock.

Really like the CalDigit TS 3+.

An unusual feature not found on other docks is digital optical audio (S/PDIF) support.

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I use a Kensington Thunderbolt dock because it explicitly supports dual 4K displays.


Get a dock for you MacBook. You sound like I do when I’m trying to convince my self to buy something cool that I really don’t need.

Unplugging never caused me issues but given how old your Macbook save the cash for when you need to upgrade.

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