There is something satisfying about working from the comfort of your own home. There’s no commute, VIP access to your very own bathroom and the perks of (sometimes) working in sweatpants.
Yet, despite the numerous advantages of having a permanent home office, it’s sometimes hard to stay happy and healthy while working from your house. (Too) easy access to the fridge, minimal socialization and reports scattered across your living room floor can all have detrimental effects on your overall wellbeing.
Of course, with a few simple changes to your daily routine, working from home and staying healthy can go together symbiotically.
1. Treadmill desks
These desks may be expensive, but might be considered an investment in one’s health. According to a study conducted by Avner Ben-Ner, a professor at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, the treadmill desk has been found to increase a worker’s productivity.
2. Standing desks
While we’re on the topic of desks, it would be blasphemous not to mention the standing desk as a viable alternative to regular desks. It may not seem comfortable to work while standing, but research has found that people who use the standing desk reduce their risk of obesity, Type 2 Diabetes and cancer. If that doesn’t convince you, Ernest Hemingway, Charles Dickens and Leonardo Da Vinci used this type of desk while they created some masterpieces.
3. Healthy snacks
The hardest thing to do when working from home is to avoid eating junk food when stressed. In order to combat this problem, purge your kitchen of any and all unhealthy foods. Restock your fridge with healthy, delicious snacks. Fruits that are high in water content, vegetables that are easy to cut and eat, and protein-packed trail mix are all suitable snack alternatives. While it may seem difficult to make this lifestyle change at first, over time you will become accustomed to snacking on strawberries and grapes rather than chocolate chip cookies.
4. Drink water
In addition to clearing your kitchen of junk food, stay hydrated all day. Drinking about eight cups of water per day should keep your body hydrated. Besides keeping your body healthy, drinking lots of water can help reduce your desire to snack.
5. Get dressed
Getting dressed in the morning can help promote productivity and overall mental health. Dressing as though you were headed to an office can motivate you to work harder than you would if you stayed in your pajamas all day. While this doesn’t have to be an everyday requirement for your home office, you may see an increase in your attention and dedication to your work.
6. Create a routine
Schedules are an important part of creating and maintaining a healthy work routine. Scheduling your work days and hours on a regular, consistent basis can help you organize your thoughts and keep you from over-working. It’s easy to want to sleep in every day until noon and then work sporadically throughout the day, but this inconsistent schedule makes it hard for your body to adjust to a normal working structure. Routines help build efficiency and momentum, improving your overall mood throughout the week.
7. Walking break
Taking a walking break every hour can help you refocus on work, especially when you find yourself having a mental block. A walking break can happen in your house for a few minutes or a 10-minute stroll around the block. Going outside has its own positive affects on your body, like an increase in brain function and creativity. A responsible amount of vitamin D from sunshine can also help promote a healthy immune system and bone growth.
8. Work out
Exercise is an important part of staying healthy while working from home. In fact, some would argue it’s even easier to work out if you work from home, because you can easily take breaks. If you feel yourself becoming unfocused while working, quickly do a three-minute ab workout or a few squats. Dressing in active clothing once or twice a week might help to stay active throughout the day. It makes it easier to run a mile before lunch or do yoga on a 15-minute break.
9. Home office
One of the most important things for remote worker wellness is to maintain a dedicated work space in your home. Having a true home office, corner or even just a desk can help separate work from your personal life. Keeping work in one area allows you to psychologically associate that specific room with work only, leaving the rest of your house open to comfort and relaxation. This also makes it easier to disconnect from work once your day is done, fostering a healthy work-life balance.
10. New locations
Working from home may seem like a wonderful idea at first, but sometimes may feel more like a prison. Rather than hate your safe haven, take your work to a new location. If working from a shared workspace in the city is too expensive (or too far), try working from a local cafe or even a public library. In some major cities there is WiFi in the parks.\
THE 7 MOST IN-DEMAND TECH JOBS FOR 2018
The 7 most in-demand tech jobs for 2018
CIO | Jun 6, 2018
From data scientists to data security pros, the battle for the best in IT talent will wage on next year. Here’s what to look for when you’re hiring for the 7 most in-demand jobs for 2018 — and how much you should offer based on experience.
Source: Computer World
AUTOMATION WILL MAKE LIFELONG LEARNING A NECESSARY PART OF WORK
As more companies adopt and learn through digital solutions, and as new forms of employment and investment opportunities strengthen the demand recovery, we expect productivity growth to recover, write James Manyika and Myron Scholes in Project Syndicate.
For years, one of the big puzzles in economics has been accounting for declining productivity growth in the United States and other advanced economies. Economists have proposed a wide variety of explanations, ranging from inaccurate measurement to “secular stagnation” to questioning whether recent technological innovations are productive.
But the solution to the puzzle seems to lie in understanding economic interactions, rather than identifying a single culprit. And on that score, we may be getting to the bottom of why productivity growth has slowed.
Examining the decade since the 2008 financial crisis – a period remarkable for the sharp deterioration in productivity growth across many advanced economies – we identify three outstanding features: historically low growth in capital intensity, digitization, and a weak demand recovery. Together these features help explain why annual productivity growth dropped 80%, on average, between 2010 and 2014, to 0.5%, from 2.4% a decade earlier.
Start with historically weak capital-intensity growth, an indication of the access labor has to machinery, tools, and equipment. Growth in this average toolkit for workers has slowed – and has even turned negative in the US.
In the 2000-2004 period, capital intensity in the US grew at a compound annual rate of 3.6%. In the 2010-2014 period, it declined at a compound annual rate of 0.4%, the weakest performance in the postwar period. A breakdown of the components of labor productivity shows that slowing capital-intensity growth contributed about half or more of the decline in productivity growth in many countries, including the US.
Growth in capital intensity has been weakened by a substantial slowdown in investment in equipment and structures. Making matters worse, public investment has also been in decline. For example, the US, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom experienced a long-term decline of 0.5-1 percentage point in public investment between the 1980s and early 2000s, and the figure has been roughly flat or decreasing since then, creating significant infrastructure gaps.
Intangible investment, in areas such as software and research and development, recovered far more quickly from a brief and smaller post-crisis dip in 2009. Continued growth in such investment reflects the wave of digitization – the second outstanding feature of this period of anemic productivity growth – that is now sweeping across industries.
By digitization, we mean digital technology – such as cloud computing, e-commerce, mobile Internet, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the Internet of Things (IoT) – that is moving beyond process optimization and transforming business models, altering value chains, and blurring lines across industries. What differentiates this latest wave from the 1990s boom in information and communications technology (ICT) is the breadth and diversity of innovations: new products and features (for example, digital books and live location tracking), new ways to deliver them (for example, streaming video), and new business models (for example, Uber and TaskRabbit).
However, there are also similarities, particularly regarding the effect on productivity growth. The ICT revolution was visible everywhere, the economist Robert Solow famously noted, except in the productivity statistics. The Solow Paradox, as it was known (after the economist), was eventually resolved when a few sectors – technology, retail, and wholesale – ignited a productivity boom in the US. Today, we may be in round two of the Solow Paradox: while digital technologies can be seen everywhere, they have yet to fuel productivity growth.
MGI research has shown that sectors that are highly digitized in terms of assets, usage, and worker enablement – such as the tech sector, media, and financial services – have high productivity. But these sectors are relatively small in terms of share of GDP and employment, whereas large sectors such as health care and retail are much less digitized and also tend to have low productivity.
MGI research also suggests that while digitization promises significant productivity-boosting opportunities, the benefits have not yet materialized at scale. In a recent McKinsey survey, global firms reported that less than a third of their core operations, products, and services were automated or digitized.
This may reflect adoption barriers and lag effects, as well as transition costs. For example, in the same survey, companies with digital transformations under way said that 17% of their market share in core products or services was cannibalized by their own digital products or services. Moreover, less than 10% of the information generated and that flows through corporations is digitized and available for analysis. As these data become more readily available through blockchains, cloud computing, or IoT connections, new models and artificial intelligence will enable corporations to innovate and add value through previously unseen investment opportunities.
The last feature that stands out in this period of historically slow productivity growth is weak demand. We know from corporate decision-makers that demand is crucial for investment. For example, an MGI survey conducted last year found that 47% of companies increasing their investment budgets were doing so because of an increase in demand or demand expectations.
Across industries, the slow recovery in demand following the financial crisis was a key factor holding back investment. The crisis increased uncertainty about the future direction in consumer and investment demand. The decision to invest and boost productivity was correctly deferred. When demand started to recover, many industries had excess capacity and room to expand and hire without needing to invest in new equipment or structures. That led to historically low capital-intensity growth – the single biggest factor behind anemic productivity growth – in the 2010-2014 period.
But, as more companies adopt and learn through digital solutions, and as new forms of employment and investment opportunities strengthen the demand recovery, we expect productivity growth to recover. Myriad factors contribute to productivity gains, but it is the twenty-first century’s steam engine – digitization, data, and its analysis – that will power and transform economic activity, add value, and enable income-boosting and welfare-enhancing productivity gains.
Source: Project Syndicate
WHY AI ISN’T THE DEATH OF JOBS
Companies using AI to innovate are more likely to increase employment, writes Jacques Bughin in MIT Sloan Management Review.
When pundits talk about the impact that artificial intelligence (AI) will have on the labor market, the outlook is usually bleak, with the loss of many jobs to machines as the dominant theme. But that’s just part of the story — a probable outcome for companies that use AI only to increase efficiency. As it turns out, companies using AI to also drive innovation are more likely to increase head count than reduce it.
That’s what my colleagues and I recently learned through the McKinsey Global Institute’s broad-based research initiative aimed at understanding the spread of AI in economies, sectors, and companies.1 We polled 20,000 AI-aware C-level executives in 10 countries to compile a sample of more than 3,000 companies (mostly large), identified distinct clusters within that pool, and ran a variety of scenarios on those clusters to project the effects of AI on employment, revenue, and profitability.
This research and analysis suggest that although AI will probably lead to less overall full-time-equivalent employment by 2030, it won’t inevitably lead to massive unemployment. One major reason for this prediction is because early, innovation-focused adopters are positioning themselves for growth, which tends to stimulate employment. (See “How AI-Based Innovations Drive Employment.”)
Here’s how we expect things to play out in the five clusters of companies we examined.
Enthusiastic innovators, or pioneering companies that make early investments in AI and embrace the disruption it can create in the quest for advantage, adopt a full range of AI technologies and use them to bolster innovation and efficiency. These companies are analogous to what sociologist and communication theorist Everett Rogers called “early adopters” back when he coined the term — they’re intrinsically motivated to use new technology to shape and open markets.2 While this approach is potentially complex in the short term, our analysis shows that by 2030, the profitability of enthusiastic innovators will grow 8% faster than that of the average company on an annual basis, their revenue will grow 4% faster, and their head count will rise 2.2% faster.
Source: MIT Sloan Management