I always admire people who are able to effectively work from home. While for me, I have always liked working in an office environment. Meeting people, face-to-face interacting and collaborating, and hall-side conversations – all adds up to a complete productive day.

Working from home, on the other hand, can have many challenges. From potentially limited Internet bandwidth to the possibility of small children barging in your “office” to getting distracted from other activities going on in the house to not finding that “work” environment, any or all of these can be a reason for a not-so-productive workday. Personally, I end up eating more when I am working from home. Every hour or so, I tend to get up and end up visiting the kitchen to see if automagically something has appeared in the last hour. And end up grabbing something that may not be healthy.

For me, it requires a lot more discipline and effort to effectively work from home. And I am sure there are others who are in the same boat. So, I thought I will compile some things to do, which can make working from home much easier and productive. Please feel free to add things that work for you, so everyone can benefit.

  1. Follow a routine – still follow the routine of getting up on time, getting ready like you are going to the office, and be at your makeshift desk at a set time. Showered, shaved (if applies to you), and well-fed (don’t miss your meals) – you are ready for the day
  2. Isolate yourself – from other activities, noises or disturbances that can distract you. Find a good corner in your house
  3. Stay connected – ensure that you have a good stable connectivity to your office systems, so you are able to perform your work duties without any disruptions
  4. Take regular breaks – sitting in one place for long hours can be detrimental to your health. Stretch a bit, talk to your family (if someone is there), smile a bit, and come back refreshed to your seat
  5. Use video conferencing – for meetings so you can see familiar faces, but more importantly have the attention and focus during the meeting. Video conferences will also create that energy and buzz that we all need
  6. Call a friend – during breaks, once in a while, see if you can have a five-minute chat with a friend to keep your enthusiasm high
  7. Have fun – more importantly, enjoy your workday. Play some soft music in the background if you like. If you grudge or complain about it, your day will feel longer

Working from home has a blessing in disguise. You can use your commute time to spend more quality time with your family. Moreover, in a digitally connected world, you have access to all the productivity tools in your palm. Your work has allowed you secure access to corporate data and systems. Automation has enabled you to participate in business processes anywhere, from any device. Digitization has given you access to relevant documents from a central repository in the cloud. More importantly, your customer, except for missing the face-to-face interaction, does not realize that you are working from home.

While we are facing an unprecedented situation in modern times, let’s make the best use of our work-from-home opportunity. Maintain social distance and stay safe.