With COVID pandemic forcing us to shut down from social contacts, the companies around the world have rolled out mandatory Work from Home policies whether you are a newbie or a seasoned employee. It will be not wrong to assume that shifting to the home office or remote office is the new normal.

Some of you may be working from home for the first time and some already work from occasionally as per the need of the hour. In both cases focusing on being productive while working from home is of prime concern especially while work from home is becoming a preferred way of working for both – the employers and the employees.

Be Productive & Work from Home Ready by observing the following simple rules
1. Establish Clear Line of Communication
Lockdown or not, the key to working from home is clear and effective communication with your boss and the team while making sure what is expected out of you and your team. Out of sight – Out of mind can be a real source of the problem while working from home and working remotely


Ask your manager to have a 10-15 mins call daily to ‘kick-off’ the day and ‘wrap up’ the day
Use richer modes of communication that are face-to-face and instant like video calls on Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp, Facetime, etc
Find appropriate times to have virtual meetings with your manager and co-workers
2. Make it a Real Job
Treat work from home as a real job. That means doing the following:

Get Dressed
It is a good habit to get dressed daily, the way you do while going to the office. Take shower, get ready in comfortable semi-formal clothes. Do not lounge on your bed in those pajamas. This is not just a job from home but your livelihood.

Create a dedicated Office Space or Workplace
If you do not have a home office, you can create a dedicated ad-hoc work station in some corner of your house or room exclusive for your work. Have it fully equipped like your office workstation, for example, an upright chair, table, sticky notes, whiteboards, stationery, printer, laptop or desktop, dustbin, water bottle, mobile or phone, etc. Try having everything you need within your reach.

Not having a well-equipped and dedicated office does reduce your productivity. Lying in your bed with your laptop is a strict no. Try to create something which is more deliberate.

Create Boundaries within your home
Doing so will hint your family members that it is your serious workspace and encroaching that area will not be appreciated during work hours. This becomes all the more important as kids are at home due to lockdown. For example, you can set rules like- if the door is closed, pretend that you are not there.

3. Open and Close your Day
Make sure to deliberately open and close the day. Since you are not commuting to and fro from home to office, which indicates clear boundaries of start and closure of your workday, opening and closing your work from home days is a good idea to keep you more productive.

For example, starting your workday with a cup of coffee as you do while you reach the office physically and closing it with a call with your manager or round up with your team is a good idea. This will mark your day open and close boundaries. While closing the day, be in a frame of mind to close your work-time to catch up with daily household chores like laundry or spending time with kids.

4. Thrive to achieve Work from Home “Work-Life Balance”
Maintain a healthy work-life balance the way you aim to do while in your actual office.

This first rule is to not bring your work to your family after office hours. Leave your work to your home office as your step out of it.
Take short breaks while working and have family lunch and snacks. Focus on overall health and wellbeing.
Avoid your work mobile phone or laptop during mealtimes, and family times.
5. Stay Focussed at home
Work from home not only brings along with its distractions of the home but also the isolation that comes along with remote working confining us to our rooms – both may damage your productivity.

Avoiding isolation
To avoid isolation it is a good idea to bond with your team over phone calls, video catch up sessions, and virtual get-togethers. Celebrating birthdays, public praising of teammates for goals achievement, having virtual pizza parties with the team, gives a feeling of connectedness and lightness to an otherwise isolated environment.

Staying focused
While working from home calls for being motivated, minimizing familial distractions, controlling urges to use social media, and taking bedroom naps, while focussing on achieving daily defined goals. In short, having a prioritized schedule is a good idea to stay focussed.

Happy Working from Home!

Author's Bio: 

Akram Ali is a B.Tech in Compuer Science & Engineering and MBA in International Business with specialisation in Marketing Management from IMT Ghaziabad, he has 7 years of corporate experience in MNCs like Infosys Technologies Ltd, Japyee Group etc in techno functional, business development and Brand Management roles. After his Corporate stint he has ventured into various businesses since last 10 years. The first involved creating and owning India’s one the best luxury fitness chains called “Crunch-Health”, Luxury Salon Chain known as “Crest” and Café Cum Restaurant Called“ Canvas” and “Wheelys Café”. Crunch-Health was featured as one of best Luxury fitness chains in Delhi/NCR and featured as one of the top 30 best designed Fitness centre & Spa across the World as per Hong Kong’s top Interior design magazine. Apart from this he also ventured into Nutraceuticals industry and successfully established and operates distribution chain of wellness products. Most recent of his venture is running his own Digital Marketing Agency known as “Ads Performs” with a belief that original ideas can be turned into digital businesses that are both innovative and profitable. He is a serial entrepreneur and successfully Conceptualizes, Innovates and then works on Executing new and traditional ideas. He loves building and rebuilding Products and Services by using his creativity and ideas which he has been applying in his own “Wheelys Café, an International Coffee Chain from Sweden. His biggest passion lies in playing Indian Classical Percussion Instrument “Tabla” in which he is professionally trained He has been playing and performing since his school days in various concerts and performances, featuring in TV and cultural fests which have won him accolades. He loves reading, travelling and has travelled across many countries and still counting. He also loves to explore new cultures, food and loves making new friends. He also has a flair for writing, literature, poetry. His articles and poetries have been featured in various school and college chronicles. With his background of a bureaucratic family, he has been exposed to various societal and welfare issues. His spiritual bent of mind and deep understanding of life philosophy has helped him to counsel many people successfully over a period of time.