Most people with office jobs have likely worked from home before. However, the majority of us have probably never done it for an extended period, and the way it currently looks like is that we will have to do it for at least another three to four weeks. In order to stay productive, sane and healthy (apart from anti-Coronovirus measures), we wanted to share our best WFH practices.
First off, make sure your “home office” is set up in a way that allows you to work comfortably and doesn’t cause any back or neck pain. Hunching over your laptop for eight hours a day will make you feel miserable pretty quickly. Try and put your laptop on a stand or stack of books so that the screen is on eye level. Invest in a mouse and a keyboard, so you can keep those at elbow level and sit in an upright and healthy posture. Keeping a distance is not only important to avoid virus infections, but also to protect your eyes. Don’t sit too close to your laptop screen and if you have glasses with blue light filtering lenses, wear them!
Next on our list is keeping or rather establishing a new routine. This helps with getting a sense of normalcy and distinguishing your work day at home from your weekend at home.
Set an alarm and get up a good amount of time before work starts so you can to get in some body movement and wake yourself up with stretching, yoga, or even a run if you’re up for it. Even if you are not going anywhere, put on some decent clothes, as it will make you feel more productive and ready to work. Eat breakfast, or don’t, and write a to-do list for the day while you fire up your computer. Don’t be overly ambitious and set realistic goals that you can actually get done in a day.
As you work away, remember to keep moving. Since you haven’t left home and might not do so for the rest of the day, get up and walk around or stretch for five minutes every hour. You can even do that while being on a conference call! You are not tied to your home office desk, so switch things up and take your laptop to lounge on your couch for a bit or stand at your kitchen counter.
Speaking of kitchen: Lunch time is around the corner! Actually take a break and eat lunch away from your laptop so you don’t get interrupted by emails that are popping up. Treat yourself with some chocolate or a cookie for dessert to keep the mood up and be more motivated for the second half of the day. To get over the afternoon slump, you can also go for a quick walk, but remember to keep a distance!
During breaks or after you’re done with work, give yourself and your eyes some digital rest and try not to be on your phone. Read a book, cook a new recipe, go for another walk, take care of your plants, play an instrument, draw something or journal your thoughts with an actual pen and paper.
Last but not least, your work from home day is still a weekday, so go to bed around the same time as if you would go to the office the next day and get a full night’s sleep.
We hope this helps with improving your work from home routine until we can all meet in the office again. Stay safe and healthy everyone!
Always on the road – that applies very much to our team. We are travel enthusiasts, both in our work and private lives.
On our vacations in 2019, we have ventured to places such as Spain, Italy, France, the UK, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Aruba, Thailand, and all the way down under to Australia. And while privately we traveled abroad quite a bit, our work trips have taken us all over the States again.
On average, each of us spent 40 days on the road with about 9 trips per person. Our most frequent traveler had a total of 111 days out of the office spread over 22 trips.
With the new year around the corner, we look back at the highlights of each month’s travel in 2019. We are excited to see what 2020 has in store for us!
The typical desk lunch has been a staple of the American office culture for a long time. Here at OSK New York, we handle things a bit differently. Lunch is a thing. Our team sits down to eat together at our long dining table with proper place settings and coffee and chocolate as dessert. We mostly talk about work-unrelated topics: what’s happening on the weekend, the latest episode of The Handmaid’s Tale or the difference between the American and German school system. As studies show that taking an actual break from work increases performance and creativity, we take lunch very seriously to make sure that we reach peak productivity.
People either bring their own lunches or go and get something in the sea of food options available in our neighborhood. Every day approximately 3.1 million people go to work in Manhattan with a big chunk headed to office buildings in Midtown East. And starting from 11:30 a.m., people swarm out of those buildings to the many restaurants, food halls, delis and bowl places to get their food.
With ever increasing lunch prices – now starting at approx. $12 for a salad – it can get quite pricey to buy lunch every single day. But luckily, it’s 2019 and there is an app for that – or actually two.
The apps we’re looking at are not the usual food delivery apps such as Seamless, UberEats, or DoorDash. These two apps have emerged and established themselves as the lunch apps of the moment that a good amount of people in Manhattan, and also of our team, has subscribed to.
For the first of these apps, subscription is actually the key word. MealPal is a meal subscription service that was founded in 2016 and is now operating in markets in the US, Canada, and Australia. In New York, it’s gaining more and more traction as you can tell by the number of food places setting up the MealPal QR Code on their counters.
How does it work? Users pay a monthly subscription fee that includes 12 or 20 lunches. You go into the app, pick the dish you want from a participating restaurant, select a pick-up time, and reserve your meal. Lucky for us, the majority of the restaurants around our office is participating so there are plenty of options.
It’s a good deal for everyone who participates: Restaurants get a predictable and confirmed number of customers and can optimize their food prep by making a large amount of the same dish. Diners get a subsidized meal for about half the price of a regular lunch and don’t have to wait in lines. And MealPal makes a margin on each order and can collect consumer data to optimize their offering.
MealPal is the latest incarnation of the subscription service trend. This trend once started with music and video streaming services, and has now taken over almost every imaginable industry. Only to name a few: There is ClassPass for workout sessions, Blue Apron for home-cooked meals, Burst for toothbrushes, Misfits for organic vegetables, Feather for furniture, Birchbox for beauty products, JustFab for clothes, and Nike for kids’ shoes.
According to a report by McKinsey, the subscription e-commerce market has grown by more than 100% annually over the past five years. The target audience of these subscription services are often younger and affluent customers in urban areas that appreciate the convenience and discounted price they get in exchange for their commitment. MealPal hits that sweet spot with both a convenient and affordable offer.
Subscriptions per se are not a new thing. Monthly cable bills have been around forever and everyone at some point in their lives probably has had a magazine or newspaper subscription. However, the unexpected combination of a subscription with products that you never thought about subscribing to before, but that you actually do need on a regular basis, is what is new and appealing. And the possibilities are endless.
The second app that we have recently discovered is called Ritual. Ritual was founded in Toronto in 2014 and expanded to the US three years later. Last month, they ran a promotion for $1 lunches that made us all sign up. Initially we expected that everyone would stop using it after the promotion ends. But surprise, we are still ordering food through Ritual.
How so? At first sight, there is nothing new about Ritual. You use the app to make an order and then go pick it up when it’s ready so you don’t have to wait in line. It also asks you to join your company team so that you get notifications when one of your co-workers makes an order. This way, you can piggyback on their order and they can pick it up for you along with their own order. This saves you a trip through the masses of people on Midtown streets during lunchtime.
Apart from their sporadic $1 lunch promotions and regular $5 off from selected restaurants, Ritual has a rewards points system. And this is where it gets interesting. In a society where people are obsessed with collecting points and read The Points Guy like a bible, Ritual offers an advantage over other food ordering apps and proprietary apps.
Most restaurants and food places have a reward system in place that for example gives you a free meal after ten purchases. These reward systems, however, are all specific to each place and unless you go to the same lunch spot every day, it takes quite a while until you actually get a reward.
With Ritual, you collect points in the same system no matter where you order, which allows you to get to a reward much more quickly. This universal reward system in combination with its regular discounts, presents a big draw.
Both MealPal and Ritual have found a unique selling point to set them apart from the well-established food ordering apps. They have even amassed a big enough of a user base to prompt some places in Midtown to set up designated shelves so that their users can easily find their orders and pass by the line of people ordering in store.
How we get our lunches will probably change again within the next year or even the next few months. But for the moment, even though we don’t know what is for lunch, we know that there is an app for that – or actually two.
For the 18th time the Tribute in Light illuminated the skies of Downtown Manhattan on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The two vertical lights symbolize the fallen Twin Towers of the World Trade Center that collapsed in 2001.
From our South office windows, we have a perfect view of Downtown Manhattan, and on a clear night like it was, we got to clearly see the blueish lights as they reached far into the sky. Located a little bit south of the actual World Trade Center, the installation consists of 88 searchlights – pretty impressive!
Side story: According to the New York Times, the bright lights are endangering approximately 160,000 birds every year. The beams lure the birds off their normal migratory flight paths, which puts them at risk of exhaustion, starvation and injuries due to the amount of glass skyscrapers in the area. Luckily, a group of scientists and volunteers keep an eye out for the birds and make sure the lights are actually shut down for a short period of time if the number of birds trapped gets too high.
Welcome to the world of OSK New York! You might have seen our website where we showcase our best work and talk about our impressive skill set – but this is not the same thing just in a slightly different format.
Our blog will introduce you to our micro cosmos, the world of OSK New York: NYC agency life meets creative/fun ideas meets relevant topics of local and global scale.
Expect to see impressions from the latest and greatest of our travel and adventures, our thoughts on new trends and cultural issues, topics that are of interest to us due to our work or personal backgrounds, and simply fun stuff. We will touch on anything from experiential pop-up spaces, flying cars, and PR stunts to food halls, the curviest roads to drive on, and the environment.
Our team consists of highly organized and wildly creative individuals who have lived and worked on four continents. With our different backgrounds, we complement each other in the work we do. On a personal level, we have grown into a multicultural family.