Fun in the CloudSource

Coffee and How Work at Home Employees are Healthier

Reason 13.1 to Love Working from Home: Fresh brewed coffee just the way I like it!

Coffee!  Who doesn’t love a nice hot (or iced) cup o’ joe in the morning?  I love coffee, so much so that I had 27 cups (Just kidding!) (Or am I?) during the writing of this article!  Coffee has been around for a long time and has had a resounding impact on human history from the spark of the Age of Enlightenment to the protection against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.  As it turns out, coffee is really good for you.  Don’t believe me?  Here are 13 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Coffee:

  1. It can improve energy levels and make you smarter
  2. It can help you burn fat
  3. The caffeine can drastically improve physical performance
  4. There are essential nutrients in coffee
  5. It May Lower Your Risk of Type II Diabetes
  6. It May protect you from Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia
  7. It may lower the risk of Parkinson’s disease
  8. It appears to have protective effects on the liver
  9. It can fight depression and make you happier
  10. Coffee drinkers have lower risk of some types of cancer
  11. Coffee does not cause heart disease and may lower the risk of stroke
  12. It may help you live longer
  13. Coffee is the biggest source of antioxidants in the western diet

I encourage you to click the source link above if you want to learn more about the magical effects of coffee.

Now some of you might be asking “What does this have to do with work at home employee’s being healthier?”  Great question!  Allow me to show you.

Coffee

According to Statista, in 2011 82.4% of coffee consumed in the United States was at home.  That’s 82.4% of the 3.16 billion pounds of coffee American’s consumed that year!  So if you are a coffee drinker and happen to work from home, chances are you drink a lot more coffee than your commuter counterparts.  Since you drink more coffee than your cube dwelling friends, you most likely have more energy, are in better shape, are happier, and have a lower risk for heart disease.  I don’t know about the rest of you but I think I’ll be working from home tomorrow.

Feel free to Tweet me a coffee! @Tom_Castronova

CloudSource Cartoon

Fun in the CloudSource – Episode 5

In Episode 2 of Fun in the CloudSource I talked about the benefits of working from home.  Since 40% of the top 10 benefits dealt with driving in some way I thought I would dive a little deeper into the topic.  Join me as I shed some light on just how great it is to work from home.

The Commute:

Save Gas, Avoid Traffic, and Eliminate Long Commutes appeared on my top 10 list at spots 2, 3, and 6 respectively.  Let’s say that you are an average American, living in an average American city.  Did you know that the price per gallon of Regular gasoline is about $3.471?  Were you aware that the average American commutes 1-10 miles (one way), and that the MPG of a brand new 2010 model car is about 33.9?  Using these numbers, the commuting cost for the average American per week (assuming a 5 mile radius) is as follows:

Cost of Gasoline per week
Commute Distance (mi.) 5
Miles per day 10
Miles per week 50
Gallons of gasoline per week 1.47
Cost of Gasoline per week $5.102

Doesn’t seem like much, right?  Well this translates to $265.30 a year, and this is assuming your commute is 5 miles one-way, gasoline prices are $3.47/gallon, and your vehicle gets at least 33.9 Miles Per Gallon.  Oh, by the way, this does not take into account traffic.  Since you are the average American in this scenario, your average commute is over 50 minutes one-way!  So now you are sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic just like the cartoon pictured above.  What is your car doing the whole time?  Burning gasoline of course!  Maybe you burn an extra gallon and a half per week due to traffic.  This will turn your spending into something like $10.431 per week or $541.48 per year just to get to and from work!  I don’t know about you, but I sure wish I had an additional $500 per year.

Going Green:

Being environmentally friendlier appeared on my list at number 10, and I have a feeling it will be jumping up spots in the years to come.  For those of you that are going green, the EPA says that the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per gallon of gasoline burned is 0.0889 metric tons.  Not a lot, right?  Well that small amount adds up, and the 156 gallons of gasoline you use to get to and from work every year equals 1.39 metric tons of carbon dioxide emitted per year!  This is equivalent to you using 58 full tanks of propane on your barbeque grill.  You would have to plant a 1.1 acre forest to offset your commuting emissions.  For those of you that are visual, I will leave you with this:

CO2

You can follow me on Twitter @Tom_Castronova

CloudSource

Fun in the CloudSource – Episode 3 “Distractions”

Whether you are working in an office environment or from home, there will always be distractions.  While there are a lot of similarities between these distractions, there are definitely a few unique ones that accompany the work from home lifestyle.  Here are six common work from home distractions, and how to deal with them:

  1. Friends And Family May Not Take Your Job Seriously

If you have never worked from home, then you may not understand this one, but there are many people out there who think working from home is essentially employment-lite.  They believe you have time to sit and gossip all day, or think you are able to drop what you are doing on a moment’s notice and meet for lunch, go to a movie, etc.  To combat these interruptions, you have to handle them the same way you handled Denise from Accounting, who was always tracking you down to give you the latest scuttlebutt about office politics.  Kindly remind this person that you have a job to do, and you would be more than happy to talk to them after work hours.

  1. Kids

Obviously this only applies if you have children. If you do, then you know how much of a distraction they can be.  The level of distraction kids will create will depend on their age, and whether or not they have siblings around.  Strategies for reducing this distraction will vary depending on how flexible your work from home job is.  If you have a flexible schedule, then a great strategy could be to work in blocks: entertain the kids throughout the day, between your bouts of working.  Within this same vein you can also try to work during nap times, if permissible by your employer.  Another tactic is to allow your kids to play quietly around you while you work, and reward them for outstanding behavior. Not all work at home jobs include this flexibility, however. For some jobs – especially those with assigned schedules – it’s best to arrange childcare during your work hours.

  1. Daydreaming

While it’s human nature for one’s mind to drift from time to time, there are some ways to help you keep your focus.  One of the biggest things you can do to help you focus is to rearrange your home office so that your desk is not facing a window.  It looks so nice outside – light breeze, sunny, clear skies……get back to work!  The sooner you move that desk, the better!  If you are able, try some soft background music that has no words.  It will break the silence, and you may find it easier to focus.

  1. The Phone

This could be your home phone, your cell phone, or both.  They are a distraction just waiting to happen!  If you have a home phone, a simple solution is to screen your calls.  Cell phones can be a little trickier.  First and foremost, silence your phone as if you were at the movie theater.  Avoid the temptation to read texts or to view your friend’s most recent cat video on Facebook.  The next best thing is to place your cell phone out of reach, but within viewing distance.

  1. Housework

I know that the sink is overflowing and the carpet needs to be vacuumed, but it is time to work.  If you were leaving home to go to work, you would naturally save all of your housework for non-work hours.  Fight the urge, and keep your housework separate from your job!

  1. That Idiot Couch

Don’t talk to the couch…or any other furniture for that matter!

Thanks for reading!  Please let me know how you cope with Work from Home distractions, and stay tuned for next week’s instalment.

Benefits of working from home

Fun in the CloudSource – Episode 2

Welcome to the second episode of our Fun in the CloudSource series!  Today, I wanted to talk a little bit about the benefits of working from home.  When I say “benefits of working from home” I’m sure most of you immediately think about working in your bathrobe while watching Drew Carey on Let’s Make a Deal…or is it The Price is Right?  Back in 2011, a study of 3,500 work-from-home employees was conducted.  Part of their research included polling on their work from home experiences.  Here are the top 10 benefits of working from home according to this report (page 5):

  1. Work/Home Balance
  2. Save Gas
  3. Avoid Traffic
  4. More Productive
  5. Less Distracted
  6. Eliminate Long Commute
  7. Quieter Atmosphere
  8. Less Stressful Environment
  9. More Time with Family
  10. Environmentally Friendly

What are your top 10 benefits of working from home?