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.\
Russian Gamer Brothers Are the Newest Hidden Billionaires
Russian-born Igor and Dmitry Bukhman are seeking growth to challenge Tencent and Activision.
Almost two decades ago, in a remote Russian city best known for its butter and linen, two brothers shared a bedroom and a Pentium 100-powered computer they used to code their first game.
Wall Street wants a piece of what they’ve built since.
Playrix has met with some of the biggest banks “and visited their skyscrapers,” said Dmitry Bukhman, 34, citing meetings with dealmakers at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Bank of America Corp. For now, though, “we are focused on growing the business.”
He and Igor Bukhman, 37, are the brains behind Playrix Holding Ltd., the creator of popular games similar to Candy Crush, including Fishdom and Gardenscapes, with more than 30 million daily users from China to the U.S. and annual sales of $1.2 billion, according to Newzoo. That makes the company one of the top 10 iOS and Google Play app developers by revenue, data from researcher AppAnnie show, putting Playrix in the same league as Tencent Holdings Ltd., NetEase Inc. and Activision Blizzard Inc.
Today, each brother is worth about $1.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. They haven’t previously appeared in a global wealth ranking.
Their road to riches started in 2001 in the city of Vologda, almost 300 miles (483 kilometers) north of Moscow, where Igor learned from a university professor that he could sell software online. He decided to try with Dmitry, who was still in high school at the time.
“We had no experience, no business understanding whatsoever—everything we could imagine was writing games,” Igor said.
The U.S. is Playrix’s biggest market, followed by China and Japan, the brothers said in a recent interview in Tel Aviv, where they spend some of their time. The two remotely manage about 1,100 employees, including personnel at its Ireland headquarters and developers in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
“For $3 billion we won’t sell”
The brothers’ first product was a game akin to Xonix in which players must use a cursor to open pieces of a hidden picture before being struck by flying balls. They wrote it during a summer break and generated $60 in the first month and later $100 a month, about half of the average salary in Vologda.
“We thought, ‘If one game makes $100, we can write several dozen of them and make a lot of money,”’ Igor said.
Their second game, featuring an animated character designed by an outsourced artist, brought in $200 a month. Their copycat of Tetris brought in $700 a month, but the brothers shut that down after learning that the game was protected by a license. In 2004, when the business reached $10,000 of monthly revenue, they registered a legal entity, rented space for an office in the basement of a book warehouse and hired other staff to accelerate production.
In the early years, they sold casual games through sites such as majorgeeks.com or download.com, before moving to bigger platforms like Yahoo! and AOL. Then, within the past decade, games started moving first to Facebook and then smartphones. Many of them were available for free, with users paying only for certain in-game features.
Playrix makes most of its money from in-app purchases and the brothers mostly shun advertising, which detracts from the user experience. Ads generate less than 3 percent of revenue, Dmitry said.
“It was a major challenge for us to switch to developing free-to-play games—that’s totally different DNA,” Dmitry said. “Free-to-play games aren’t games that you develop, release and move on to making another one. They are services that need to be supported constantly as users are waiting for regular updates.”
Playrix succeeded in this transition, achieving worldwide recognition over the past three years with Gardenscapes and its sequel, Homescapes, a new variety of match-3 puzzle in which a player completes rows of at least three elements to pass levels and progress through an animated storyline—in this case, helping a butler named Austin renovate a house with a garden.
“Austin engages in dialog with you, you help him to select ways to decorate the mansion, you dive into the history of this character and become related with him,” Dmitry said. “This genre variety we introduced—match-3 with meta game—became very successful, and other companies started copying us.”
“Playrix is certainly responsible for the first major innovation in the match-3 genre since King Digital Entertainment Plc seemingly had the market locked down with Candy Crush,” said Newzoo analyst Tom Wijman. “Playrix managed to add a layer of complexity and ‘meta game’ to the match-3 genre without driving away casual mobile players.”
The company employs several full-time script writers who work on Austin’s dialog, and it’s always improving the games, Dmitry said.
“It’s like apps, like Spotify—people can use them for years,” he said. “More and more people are getting accustomed that it’s perfectly normal. Why not pay $5 to get pleasure from playing a game on a smartphone rather than watching videos or listening to music?”
While Playrix hasn’t introduced a new title since 2017, the company recently acquired several gaming studios to expand into new genres, Igor said, declining to disclose which studios until it releases games developed by them later this year.
Successful titles attract whales. Activision Blizzard acquired King Digital in 2015 for $5.9 billion, and a year later Tencent led investors in an $8.6 billion deal to acquire a majority stake in “Clash of Clans” maker Supercell Oy.
Could Playrix be next? In February, the Information reported that it could be sold for $3 billion, citing Chinese firms iDreamSky Technology Holdings and FunPlus Game Co. as potential suitors.
The brothers dismissed the report.
“For $3 billion we won’t sell,” Dmitry said with a smile, while acknowledging that Playrix had been discussing strategic options as recently as last year, noting its meetings with Wall Street banks.
Their goal, for now, is to become a “top-tier gaming company,” that rivals Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts in the West, and NetEase Inc. and Tencent in China, Igor said.
“We want to grow as big as they are, using developer talent from our region—the former USSR and Eastern Europe,” he said.
There’s no magic number that would compel the Bukhmans to sell the company, because they say money is secondary to doing what they love.
“Some may think that when you have a lot of money, everything becomes different and more interesting, you start doing different things,” Dmitry said. “But no. We just keep working.”
KPMG RELOCATING IN STAMFORD, ADDING 110 JOBS
KPMG LLP plans to add 110 jobs over the next five years in a new Stamford office.
The audit, tax and advisory firm recently signed a long-term lease and plans to renovate space in the former UBS building at 677 Washington Boulevard, which it expects to occupy next spring. KPMG has had a presence in Stamford for nearly 40 years, where it currently employs 315 professionals at its location at 3001 Summer St. The firm’s Hartford office has 231 employees.
“KPMG’s commitment to growing its operations and creating jobs in Connecticut is a testament to our top-notch workforce and unbeatable quality of life,” Gov. Dannel Malloy said. “It is an encouraging sign that world-class companies are continually choosing to set up or expand operations in our state.”
The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development is supporting the business expansion in Stamford with a $3 million grant in arrears for leasehold improvements, equipment and other project-related costs. Portions of the grant will be released when certain job-creation milestones are met.
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
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