Dear Work-From-Home Newbie, Hacks That No One Really Talks About

Working From Home: Useful Hacks
Irina Strelnikova/
Summary: Once there was a Time Lord who had the ability to be in several places in the galaxy at the same time —Dr. Who! Many humans are able to do the same right now —be at home and work, simultaneously.

Be Productive And Agile From Home

In these testing times, to combat COVID-19, people like you and me must stay at home and use our power of a strong internet connection and technology to save our fellow humans who cannot afford to.

The Uprising

The concept of working from home has the potential to replace conventional ways of working. Researchers and business leaders across the globe have already started ways to have a better implementation of this style of work, grounding their findings in theory. Although remote workers add up just 5% of the total workforce on a global scale, the trend is certainly getting more traction and acceptance universally. Remote working is going to stay, but the pandemic has only forced it to a faster transition. This graph below is proof enough.

Google Trends

The Long-Term Plan

Rephrasing Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang’s words, Amidst the crisis that has hit the world we have a chance to try out something new in the style of living as well as working.

Almost everything feasible has been moved online. From holding business meetings [1], attending conferences [2], teaching [3] to local protests [4]. Only time can say if the repercussions will hit hard or be soft, but till then the phrase "Work from Home" (reads anywhere, but in the light of current events you better be at HOME!) is not new, and there are many experiencing it in their daily life for the first time!


With these research-and-experience-driven hacks, stay on track and productive even while staying quarantined, isolated and — most importantly — at home!

Personal Hole

As Michelle Obama describes it in her book Becoming, by the way, the book is amazing, every person must have a personal nest in their own house. No matter how small or big your house is, you can still have that hole where you can be sucked inside within no time, and stay there for long. To style it, you can have candles, books, fairy lights, big screens or, like I prefer, keep it simple with just your laptop and a comfortable chair/couch (of course, with a lap desk because you don't want to compromise on that sitting posture).

Prioritize Vs. Organize

Your day is organized; you have it all keyed in on your Google Keep or Mac Notes, but what about your personal priorities? We often, out of laziness, do not bother getting up from the seat even for a glass of water because you think your kids or parents might stop you for a quick chat, but doesn’t the same happen with you at the office too? For example, if taking intermittent coffee breaks is your thing, you must do that at home as well. If you disturb that, then the organized routine has no meaning whatsoever.

"Me" Time

With many of us saving a lot of travel time, use it wisely. Indulge yourself in some online courses pertaining to your field. Expand your knowledge to stay a life-long learner even at home. If you are a WFH (work from home) veteran, you sure know how to balance time between learning and giving back, no? Then, sign yourselves up with websites, such as Udemy, that foster experts for online teaching—many around the globe need you right now.

Humanize Communication

If you are a talker, you are not enjoying working from home alone. Talk, chat, and actively communicate with your teammates—regularly. Talk about stuff other than work, rant about that fashion faux pas you had the other day or the current situation in your country. To relate to recent events, share genuine news websites with that colleague who is sharing fake news! Isn’t that what makes us different from machines? Simply place an informal Zoom call to make sure your teammates are all doing fine or partake in a group virtual lunch!

Dress Up

Apparently, dressing up helps! Dress up like whatever you want to be that day! Dressing up doesn’t really translate into business or formal wear, but just having a bath and getting out of your pajamas makes a huge psychological difference in your attitude toward work. You might choose to dress up cool and funny for your WFH ventures.

A Couple? Do Stuff Together

Couples in China were splitting in huge numbers owing to quarantine. During work hours, share memes, stories, cartoons and otherworldly updates with each other frequently over Hangouts or Teams. You may even workout at home during the lunch break. After work hours, catch up with your other “couple” friends online over a video chat who are also caught in this whirlpool of loneliness in different parts of the world.

Stay Away From Binge-Watching

While working, please don’t Netflix! When you enter this black hole, you never know when you have reached the deep end! If you still have the tab open in your browser, it would be the right time to hit the close button.

These were some personal experiences of my ongoing work from home stories, at the same time obeying the stay at home drive amidst the viral (pun intended) fear. Share yours and let us work on this together and stay vigilant.


[1] Social distancing with online meetings

[2] Coronavirus tech conference cancellations list: Apple WWDC, Microsoft Build, E3, NAB, Gartner, Dell World and more

[3] Coronavirus in NY: Teachers prepare for unprecedented challenges of remote learning

[4] Post-secondary funding protest moves online amidst COVID-19 concerns