During these times of upheaval where many of us are adapting our work routine it's important to take stock of what is important and what we have to accept will be different. Masteroast is also going through this process and we would like to share a few of the tips we are picking up along the way. The below is just a few routine habits that we find will ease this transition from the traditional office to the kitchen table/spare room/ garden/sofa or home office
Habits are daily behaviours that are carried out automatically or with very little thought. Scientific study backs the importance of creating and maintaining positive habits. The routines we hold allow us to minimise effort and allow us to improve productivity as well as settling us with predictability. We are confident the sun will rise, that work finishes at a certain time and that coffee in the morning while you're hurrying to your desk is an essential ingredient in getting those tricky first few emails sorted. We also continually strive to predict the weather with the accuracy of a blind darts man in our quest to know. We love routine and routine really is healthy. Let us see what we can do to maintain some of these rituals.
6 Home working tips
1. A set work pattern that is similar to your usual working hours. That includes lunch breaks and coffee stops. Definitely coffee stops!
2. A new work environment can be quite difficult to get used to. Get comfy and ensure that you have all the tools that you're likely to need. When you do take breaks perhaps give a friend or colleague a call, or take a quick walk.
3. Stay connected: Keep your colleagues, friends and family close, that is important. These connections help you remain a more rounded mentally healthy person. When you get the opportunity to talk to someone, don't send an email, pick up the phone and update them on which stage of a project that you're at or where you're going with it.
4. Just because you're not at your usual working environment doesn't mean that you shouldn't keep hydrated and have the occasional coffee. Enjoying a coffee is a pleasure you can still bring to the work area you've curated.
5. Though it may be tempting to start work without having a shower or even getting dressed we would recommend maintaining a presentable appearance if not for anyone else but yourself. Getting ready for the day out at the office is a big part of how you see and present yourself. This is up there with point 1 about keeping a regular work pattern.
6. Technology has come a long way, not least to allow you to fulfil your office role from home but in the way you can communicate face to face, use apps like Zoom, Messenger and Skype to communicate with your colleagues and discuss business activities. This technology again goes some way to plugging the gap in your social life with face to face communication.
The above 6 points are just some of the steps that we'd recommend that you take over the next few weeks of what is undoubtedly a tough time. Keep your life's routines as best one can as you start to adapt to the changes we are facing right now.
Remember, keep calm and work from home.
Gallstones are awful for anyone who has had the misfortune of suffering from them. If the latest research from the Journal of Internal Medicine is to believed then anyone who drinks up to 6 cups or more of caffeinated coffee a day is up to 23% less likely to suffer this affliction. Just one cup of coffee a day is enough to reduce this by 3%. Going on the stats, if you've suffered from Gallstones in the coffee industry you have either been very unfortunate or have not been drinking enough coffee, this can be the only explanation!
The study was conducted with a sample size of 100,000 people - caffeine triggers the contraction of the gallbladder which in turn prevents the build up of gallstones, future trials will explore this mechanism further.
Masteroast recommend that you enjoy your coffee responsibly and as part of a balanced diet.
Coffee fans can have up to 25 cups a day without worrying about their heart a study suggests.
If you're accustomed to drinking coffee on a regular basis then this latest study published by Queen Mary University of London suggests that you could have up to 25 cups of coffee a day without any negative effects to your arteries.The study started off by dividing 8,412 people into three groups - those who seldom drank coffee, those who drank between one and three cups a day and the third group who would regularly drink more than three.
The third group consumed coffee at an average of 5 a day though some of them would put away 24 cups! The research found that you were no more likely to have artery trouble drinking 25 cups a day than you would drinking only one.
"Despite the huge popularity of coffee worldwide, different reports could put people off from enjoying it," said Dr Kenneth Fung.
"Whilst we can't prove a causal link in this study, our research indicates coffee isn't as bad for the arteries as previous studies would suggest. Although our study included individuals who drink up to 25 cups a day, the average intake amongst the highest coffee consumption group was five"
Dr Kenneth Fung said he's also likely to study this group again in future work so we can help advise on safer limits.
Previous studies on the effects of coffee on arteries have suggested that the extra strain caused by the caffeine in the coffee would put pressure on the heart and increase the chances of a heart attack or stroke. Professor Metin Avkiran associate medical director at the British heart foundation, stated that the study "rules out one of the potential detrimental effects of coffee on our arteries".
All participants that had taken part in this study underwent MRI Heart scans and infrared pulse wave tests, factors such as age, weight and lifestyle (smoking etc) were also taken into consideration.
The health benefits and risks of coffee has varied over time, though no evidence has been found to show coffee as being harmful our best advice at Masteroast is to enjoy coffee to a level that you are comfortable with as part of a balanced diet.
A potential replacement for the unpopular palm oil
Two Scottish entrepreneurs have big ideas on replacing palm oil in the home. Starting local with the goal of making it global.
Scott Kennedy and Fergus Moore have came up with a unique way to extract oil from used coffee grounds which has a huge range of potential uses.
Palm oil, the current go to oil for many of our house hold products has proven to be very unpopular and rightly so, this is more due to the rather destructive way in which production of the oil has been scaled up in recent years with large amounts of ancient rainforest being cut down in the pursuit of this useful oil. It's always interesting to see other alternatives creeping in, even more so if they are considered a by-product of another process.
Mr Kennedy and Mr Moore came up with their coffee grounds idea while working in coffee shops during their university years studying business in Glasgow's Strathclyde University. Working in a coffee shop is where they saw first-hand the amount of food waste produced by the hospitality sector, 60% of all cafe's waste is coffee grounds alone according to Mr Moore:
"In Scotland, that amounts to about 40,000 tonnes a year - across the UK, more than half a million tonnes. coffee grounds are so heavy that it takes their waste bill through the roof."
Further explaining the potential uses of this oil he explained that the oil uses extend to the cosmetic, pharmaceutical, food & drink and house hold product markets, "you name it there's probably a use for it".
Their company Revive Eco are working on a process to extract and purify these oils. Mr Moore continues "The most exciting part for us is that they have all the same components as palm." They are both excited that they could potentially have a solution or a partial solution for the palm oil which has in recent months received some negative press.
They aim to have the process up and running by summer 2020. They are also representing Scotland and Northern Island in the Chivas Venture competition. The winners will be announced in Amsterdam in May, a share of a funding pot of £776.000 is available. The core of their business model will be to have the process running in and around major coffee drinking cites producing high quality oil in a local and sustainable way, they aim longer term to have this working in Rome, Paris & Berlin and any other heavy coffee drinking city's around the world.
Robotic coffee dance
Selfridges has a 109 year history and the department store has a pedigree for gaining technological firsts. The London department store in Oxford Street has played host to a number of new technologies from the Bleriot XI aeroplane, the first ever to cross the channel, as well as the first demonstration of a television set and many more. The machine they have in store now is a robot called YuMi and its main employment in this instance is to make a great cup of coffee. The complexity of making a good cup of coffee requires a great deal of precision, a skill that we have the fortune to take for granted every day, it's actually very difficult for a machine to master. The accuracy of YuMi is thanks to years of R&D and a plethora of sensors.
YuMi is proof that the tech path is still alive and well as the store is set to take in its first ever robot, Abb's YuMi duel-arm collaborative robot. YuMi stands for You and Me working together and it was introduced in 2015. It was originally designed to take on repetitive high accuracy tasks in a manufacturing role such as the handling of phones and watches.
A collection of articles written by the dedicated staff of Masteroast