6 expert rules for working at home in the UAE

Dr. Sarah Rasmi
Dr. Sarah Rasmi

Take a look at these tips on how to work remotely

By David Light

Published: Sun 29 Mar 2020, 3:29 PM

Last updated: Mon 30 Mar 2020, 1:45 PM

With experts thankfully rapidly regaining their superhero status and their every word being hung upon, we thought we'd get in touch with some of the UAE's foremost voices about a most pressing issue. Periods of remote working appear to be being extended, so here are the definitive six golden rules for making your home office adventure as productive and comfortable as possible for the duration.
The importance of...
Waking up on time and getting enough sleep
This one seems pretty straight forward, though is often the first convention to go out the window when you don't have an office to get to.
 "Sleep gives our bodies time to rest and repair, it helps us process information and consolidate our memories, and it can even allow us to problem-solve in a creative manner," says Dr. Sarah Rasmi, CDA-Licensed Psychologist & Managing Director, Thrive Wellbeing Centre. "Changing our sleep routine can be disruptive to our circadian rhythm, which is responsible for regulating our alertness and arousal.
 "Shifting our wake up time by even a few hours can have the same detrimental effects on our body as being jet-lagged."
RULE:  Maintain your bedtime routine to stay alert.

The importance of...
'Dressing for work' even though you're at home
How does it go? 'Dress for the job you want, not the one you have.' If that is the case, this writer wishes to be a professional hobo. However, Kelly Lundberg, Dubai Style Expert and Business Mentor, says it's okay to take a style break for a little while before smartening back up again.  
 "The first few days of working from home, novelty kicks in (especially if this is not the norm) and the joy of not having to put much effort into what you wear, do your hair and make-up is refreshing. But my advice is you will soon find you want to step it up slightly especially as you now have a little more time to get ready.
 "It is important to change out of 'work clothes' to signal the end of you day. If you are on video calls, make sure you change your top daily, no one will know you are sitting at home with your slippers on."
RULE: Take a fashion break, but get smart soon.

The importance of... 
Not munching throughout the day
Why are we all eating so much more? It's not like we do this on the weekend (too often), so what's the reason we're snaffling down Mars Bars like they're going out of fashion? Apparently this is quite common says Nadine Aoun, Clinical Dietitian at Medcare Women and Children's Hospital, but it should be avoided especially as we look to bunker in for the long-haul.
 "Never skip breakfast," was her first drop of wisdom. It helps maintain that increasingly prevalent word: 'routine.'
 "Stock up on fruits and veggies for healthy snacks. Avoid frying your vegetables. You can have them as salads or steamed. Avoid canned fruits instead have fresh fruit cuts.
"Meal plan for the whole week. Prepare a menu for seven days, this way you don't overeat, and you tend to eat healthier food options." According to Aoun, low fat Greek yogurt with mixed frozen berries is a good alternative for dessert.
RULE: Stop snacking. Step away from the Snickers.

The importance of...
Going for exercise no matter how little
If we are going to take anyone's pointers on staying fit they are going to be from Rafat Shawe, Professional MMA fighter, personal trainer and nutritionist. "One of the biggest issues many of us are facing is stress and anxiety especially when unable to leave the house," he says.  "Exercise releases endorphins which help you cope with stress - it releases your happy hormones. Secondly exercise helps keep your immune system healthy and strong which is essential right now."
RULE: 10 squats while stood at the stove never hurt anyone.

The importance of...
Ensuring you have a dedicated work space
How many of you actually have your laptops on your lap? That's a big no-no says Dubai's Ash Young. The popular Interior Stylist displays her creations on Instagram (@adoredecordxb) so you can see for yourself she knows what she's talking about. "From a practical point of view a home office can help reduce physical distractions (such as children or pets!) but it can also have an important psychological effect," she says. "Not only can you 'arrive' at work in the morning, but once you step away from your desk, you should be better able to switch off and enjoy your down time.
"Of course, not everyone has the luxury of a separate room in which to create a full office but even setting up a desk area with a comfortable chair and your required technology in place can make a huge difference to your productivity, creativity and well-being."
RULE: Make some space, man.  

The importance of...
Turning off the TV
Do we really need to go into this one? Stop scrabbling around for the remote every time someone from the office calls and heed Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Saliha Afridi's advice.
 "It is very important that you do not sit in front of your TV all day, because while it may help temporarily numb out the boredom, in the long run you will feel worse. Instead you should spend your days doing things that make you feel productive, learning new things, and having a healthy routine."
Rule: Telly can wait.

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