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Home office: 7 tips, tricks to work from home like a pro during COVID-19 lockdown

Connecting over a quick video call with a teammate (or two) every day to talk about your respective days can be a big help.

Keep your phone on silent and far away, unless it’s your work device.
Keep your phone on silent and far away, unless it’s your work device.

By Bhavin Turakhia

Working remotely can be hugely satisfying and productive, but also challenging at times. For first-time telecommuters, Bhavin Turakhia, CEO & founder, Flock (a team communication app and online collaboration platform) recommends a few tricks and tips to make working from home productive.

Prepare for multiple distractions
Family, kids, OTT platforms, neighbours etc – you can’t avoid all distractions. So, be prepared for distractions and set common-sense boundaries. Set aside major chunks of your day for work, and tell your family why it’s important that you stay focused. Keep your phone on silent and far away, unless it’s your work device.

Start your day early, comparatively
Beat the rush of distractions later in the day by starting work as early as you can. Simply getting started on a task in the morning keeps motivation levels high and helps you stay focused throughout the day.

Pretend you’re in your office
Pretending to be in the office helps you start or continue productive habits, like daily to-dos, and keeps you focused. Set dedicated hours for work, connect with teammates on collaborative platforms, schedule and conduct video calls, do everything you do in the office – as much as you can. Soon you will find a lot more time.

Plan your day – create a to-do list
Simply think of the hours you want to set aside for work. Then you want a list of things to do in those chunks of time. Do it at the end of the day for the next one.

Take multiple breaks
Set an alarm to eat on time, get a cup of coffee, or just stretch your legs, so you can stay active throughout the day. Set reminders to take a short break every hour. You will probably ignore it sometimes if you’re in the middle of something that needs to be finished or on a call, but it helps ensure you don’t just sit in a corner all day.

Save meetings for mid-day
Early mornings should be saved for your best work. Setting up meetings towards the middle of the day means you can continue being productive for the rest of the day. Also, when you take meetings in the middle of the day, you can take a power nap immediately afterwards.

Make time for video calls
Working from home means missing office banter and post-work parties, or water cooler conversations. Connecting over a quick video call with a teammate (or two) every day to talk about your respective days can be a big help. Maybe a morning call helps to understand how your teams are placed throughout the day.

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