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10 Things to Do When You Are Waiting for Your Flight

10 Things to Do When You Are Waiting for Your Flight

I am sure that most of us have had that not-so-memorable experience of waiting at the airport for our next flight. People are generally seen doing various things to try to keep themselves busy, but I have observed that most of them end up frustrated, primarily because they are out of their comfort zone.

If the departure lounge drives you to despair, here are 10 things you can do while you’re in transit:

1. Shoot insane pictures

If you love photography, an airport is an awesome place to get some cool pictures of aircraft – both props and jets. You get to shoot these amazing, multimillion-dollar machines and no one asks you to pay for it. You might just need to shed your inhibition and then you can start clicking.

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2. Observe

You will find various kinds of people at the airport. It is a mix of cultures and colors. In fact, you can learn a few tips on how not to parent kids, enjoy the idiosyncrasies of other people, and so forth. Your observation can come handy in writing articles, just like I am doing!

3. Window shop at the kiosks

Get around to the various stalls at the airport and do some window shopping. Needless to say, the kiosks are overpriced, but if you have no other option, you might as well browse.

4. Use the free Wi-Fi

Most airports have free Wi-Fi. You might be ready with your project or proposal but haven’t been able to send it to your boss yet. Ta-da! Free Wi-Fi! Turn your Wi-Fi on and you are ready to go – sometimes, the good things in life are free! Just watch your security settings and don’t try to access your bank accounts or anything sensitive like that.

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5. Talk to people

I believe that the airport is a mini world. It is one place where you can meet people of many different nationalities. You might as well start a conversation with them to learn more about their country and community. Most people usually don’t mind, they’re probably bored too! And the information might come in handy for your next vacation or your kid’s project at school.

6. Take a selfie

No, the American Psychiatric Association did not declare the taking of selfies a mental disorder. The stories doing the rounds are a hoax. Hence, you might want to take some selfies in the airport and use the free Wi-Fi to send them around the world. While no one will envy your time in the departure lounge, they will be excited about your destination!

7. Start a flash mob?

If you are traveling in a group, then doing a flash mob should not be a difficult thing. But, it is wise to do some research and know for sure that no legal action would be taken against you! You see, it’s a hard world out there.

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8. Talk to the security guards and support staff

Talking about security guards, do we even appreciate the hard work they put in to keep us safe? Instead of avoiding their gaze, a small gesture of appreciation for their hard work can be a conversation starter. I have done it and I have seen the joy it brings to the person’s face! It will probably make their day. Our lives are so much more beautiful when we share them with others.

9. Explore the city

If you are new to a particular stopover and have enough time in hand, exploring the city is a pretty good option. Each city has a different architecture and flavor to it. You can grab a city guide from the airport and get on with your outing. Remember to carry your passport and some local currency and allow plenty of time to get back to the airport. If you are not sure of a place, it is wise to ask the police!

10. Sleep

If none of the above options lure you because you are too tired, you might catch a few winks. Prerequisites: earphones because you don’t want to be disturbed; a hood because you don’t want people to see you swinging sideways with your mouth wide open; and an alarm – because I am sure you don’t want to miss your flight!

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Happy traveling!

Featured photo credit: cohodas208c via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

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Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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