Talking Tea and Telecommuting

Working from home. Sounds like a dream-come-true for millions of workers. At the same time, it may surprise you to know there are a great many companies in existence today who provide opportunities to do just that. And it doesn’t always require a pay-cut, either: In fact, remote workers often earn more money than they did in their previous 9-5 office jobs.

It’s a typical misconception that all work-from-home jobs are scams—and in fact, many are…meaning due diligence is required on your part. Another myth suggests that you can only telecommute in specific industries like customer service or data entry, and the only jobs are lower-paying: nothing could be further from the truth.

According to a recent survey, 97% of respondents said a job with flexibility would have a “ huge improvement or positive impact” on their overall quality of life. Sound interesting? We thought so. But to make the most of a stay-at-home job, you’ll need…tea!

Going for the Right Effect

Workers have long used caffeine as a way to pump up their energy levels, and telecommuters are certainly no exception. If you feel you need caffeine to improve your mental focus, tea is a great way to get it.

Most herbal teas (“tisanes”) are totally caffeine-free, though a few may contain caffeine or other stimulants. Actual caffeine levels vary by the type of tea you’re drinking, as well as how it’s prepared: a typical cup of black tea has half the caffeine of your typical cup of Starbucks. And unlike coffee, tea is loaded with antioxidants and other various compounds that studies have indicated may have significant benefits for your mind and body. That takes the “My-morning-cup-makes-me-feel-more-alive” concept to a whole new level.

If you don’t need the jolt of stimulant, however, herbal tisanes are a great way to go. Beyond just enjoying the taste of a particular herb or herbal combination, these teas can have specific benefits. Many are traditionally used for wellness, mood improvement or as an aide to stress management.

Rooibos and honeybush, for example, are both great for soothing an upset stomach, plus they can help you overcome sugar cravings, since they’re both naturally sweet. Peppermint and hibiscus are beneficial in this way, as well, while Chamomile has historically been used for relaxation. Tulsi, also known as holy basil, has been shown to help the body cope with stress. You know, like deadlines …

These types of products are readily available and generally safe, but remember that some herbs can trigger allergic reactions. For all its positive qualities, Chamomile is in the same family as ragweed and might cause a reaction in someone with seasonal allergies. Herbs have also been known to interact with medications, so be sure to talk to your doctor about the tisanes that you drink.

Working with a Work-from-home Mentality

There are lists of best practices for working from home, but for tea-lovers, we have a few more detailed suggestions:

  • Use an oversized, insulated travel mug

Not only do these mugs keep a lot of tea hot for a long time, they’re safer to use around keyboards and computers: a wider base and closable lid means you aren’t as likely to spill a whole cuppa all over your work area.

  • Use an electric mug warmer

Tea warmers come in all types and varieties, from high-tech jobs with touch-controls and LED displays to ones designed to look like Mickey Mouse. The higher-end versions feature timers and temperature controls, but any will probably keep your cup warm.

  • …Or a tea light warmer

Good cast iron is very durable and it holds heat remarkably well. Simply keep the pot on the warmer and switch to new tea light candles when they burn out.

Telecommuting isn’t for everyone, of course, but it can be ideal for some. Just remember the next time you roll out of bed stumbling and bleary-eyed, a steaming cup of tea can put some much-needed pep in your step.