Tips to Keep in Mind While You Work From Home

work from home



Work from home, says almost every governing body around the world these days. And rightly so. We all know what’s going on globally, so no, we will not utter those words. But we are here to guide you with some tips if you are an employee just beginning to work from home. We will jump straight to the chase.


Be Patient With Yourself:

Work from home sounds great in theory. You won’t have to commute, you will be safe, you will be working from the comfort of your home. But as you go about it, you might realise it’s not as easy as it sounds. You might start missing the structured routine, or you might start missing your prim and proper cabin. Or the general atmosphere which a working office has, which is often conducive to work.

You might also realise you just don’t like working from home. Or you just can’t.

The key is to give yourself time and patience to figure out on your own. It is necessary to not assume that everyone else is being more productive and is more comfortable working from home than you are. Refrain from comparison, especially if you have colleagues bragging about how wonderfully they are handling everything. Instead, talking to an empathetic colleague or a family member can be the first step in devising a plan which works best for you.


Create a Workspace:

Personal workspace can be created anywhere with the help of objects and atmosphere, and designating timeslots.

You can convert a corner of your room or house into a space where during particular hours you only and only work. Nothing else. It can be used for other purposes throughout the remaining hours of the day, but while you work, it has to be a workstation.

As opposed to sitting anywhere around the house with your laptop, creating a work corner will aid your levels of focus and will also send out a signal to your family that you are busy working.

You can put up pens, post-it notes, posters, important list of names around the space to get you in the zone to work. Keep your phone and laptop chargers nearby.


Create Working Hours:

Now if your office has asked you to work from home in regular office hours, you are fine. You will know your schedule. But if you find yourself left on your own to finish a task, without any supervision or without anyone to answer to, it can get difficult to focus. It can get difficult to not procrastinate. Your behaviour can turn like that of a student who finishes an assignment an hour before deadline. That could be really stressful.

Charting out a schedule which clearly states the hours you have to put into work helps in giving a much needed sense of self-discipline.

It also acts as a psychological trigger. Your brain will get prepared to work once it has internalised the schedule you set.

Psychological trigger brings us to the next point.



Dress tidily:

While dressing in office wear might not be too practical, especially if you are having a tough time managing laundry during these times of lockdown. But that doesn’t mean you remain in your pyjamas all day.

Wearing clothes like pyjamas gives your brain signals to sleep, to relax, to wind down, which might not work well when you are trying to work. As opposed to that, dressing tidily can act as a psychological trigger: it sends out a signal to your brain that you have things to do.



Free yourself from Distractions:

Working from home will come with its own set of distractions. There will be errands you will have to run. There will be chores you will have to finish. The WiFi will be shaky. There will be family members you will have to talk and attend to. The doorbell, the phone will ring. Your attention will shift to the chirping of birds on the window. These are the things that come with working from home. And these things are not in your control.

What is in your control is your digital landscape. WhatsApp forwards, notifications from Facebook and Instagram might be at an all time high these days, considering the social isolation. Work from home and endless notifications is not a good combination.

It is necessary to filter out notifications related to work to and those related to, well, passing time.

Now is the time to use full functionality of your devices and apps! Log out of unnecessary apps during your working hours, if possible. Or use functions like Do Not Disturb which will silent all other calls and notifications but only those which you allow.


Do Not Overwork:

On the other extreme of procrastination is overworking. Make sure you stick to your working hours as much as possible. Overworking is not good for one’s health in the long run.


The world is going through something which it didn’t see coming. We are seeing changes in the working conditions and culture, the work ethics, methodologies and expectations from employees. Adapting to change can be difficult, and the first thing to do is remain calm, and take it as an opportunity to generate new ideas. As Sadhguru has very wisely summed up:

The more you feed the energy of fear the more profound it becomes. Ignore the things you don’t want to participate in. Stop discussing it with family and friends; stop checking out the latest statistics. Stop watching incessantly the news about Corona Virus. Take your attention away and It has no power on you. The creation of anything is to give thought to it by keeping it active in our vibration by being afraid of it. Hook yourself up with  ever flowing stream of well- being.



Things to Keep in Mind Before Deciding to Change Careers

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Change is not always easy, especially when it comes to changing careers.

There are questions asked. There is a sense of having had enough of the present career, and at the same time there is a lingering self-doubt. Whether it’s you yourself contemplating over these questions, or someone else questioning your decision, it is not uncommon to find yourself wondering:

  • Will I be able to do it?
  • Do I have what it takes to start over?
  • Is it wise to make this leap?
  • Am I making the right decision?

You may or may not be able to answer these questions with conviction, because after all, sometimes you don’t know until you try.

But there are some things you can keep in mind before you actually take the plunge and decide to change careers.


Think Why:

Why do you want to change careers? Is it because you want to take a leap of faith, or is it because you want to run away from your current job? Is it because your job has been wearing you down?

As we mentioned briefly in one of our previous posts about strategic quitting, it is necessary to think if it is the job or career itself that is the problem, or any particular assignment.

  • Would things get better when that particular assignment is over?
  • Would the storm-clouds clear once that difficult discussion is over?
  • Is it just a phase that you are dreading, and how long would it take for it to pass?
  • Are you threatening something long-term by getting bogged down by a short-term problem?
  • Is quitting the assignment an option? Can you delegate it?
  • Do you want to switch companies?


Making this distinction between a need to change workplace and a need to change career is necessary.



Think What:

Often, we think about changing careers, and stop there. As a result, we might end up in the wrong job. Again.

To get a clearer understanding of your decision, and avoid making the mistake of choosing a wrong job, it is a good idea to think about what you want from your career change.

Think along questions like:

  • What skills do I want to use or want to develop?
  • What type of challenges do I want to face at work?
  • What can I see myself doing long-term?
  • What am I missing in my present line of work?


But thinking about the skills you want to use should go along with thorough research. Read on the next bit.


Steer Clear From Generalised Rose-tinted Research:

Do you want a career change, or do you want to use a particular skill, which can be used in other ways without switching careers?

Researching thoroughly about the potential new career is important. Each career comes with its challenges and unlikable aspects; are you prepared, or willing to learn to handle those?

For example, you may think teaching is the career you want to get into from your managerial one. You have a passion to impart knowledge to young minds. But apart from imparting knowledge, teaching can also include managing unruly pupils, correcting piles of exam papers, repetitively teaching the same material for years etc,.

Taking off the rose-tinted glasses while researching about a new career will give a realistic picture of the scenario.


Prepare a Plan:

If you do decide to change careers, it is necessary to do some planning.

This includes preparing a financial plan.

Changing careers is not the same as switching companies. Sometimes, people might not be willing to wait till they get a job and then handing the notice in the present one. Switching careers can have phases of staying at home.

One might get a new job in the new career line in days, weeks or even months. It is necessary that there is some financial plan to pass those days of transition, where there will be an absence of steady income.

It is also necessary to make a psychological plan to endure those days of transition. Psychological planning can include anything from:

  • Setting up a strict routine, where you divide time between job hunting and leisure time
  • Learning new skills, required for the career change or anyway for hobby.

Psychological planning is necessary to stay sane when faced with the unstructured routine and uncertainty that comes with transitions.

Before you do decide to take the leap, it is necessary to try to make things right in your present arena. One final thing to wonder is if it a career change you want or you want to better the circumstances of your current one.

Changing careers can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. Setting priorities right, researching and planning are the first few steps towards making that necessary change in your professional life!



The ‘Fun’ Twist: Tackling Some ‘Interesting’ Questions

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In many of our previous posts, we have talked about answering those commonly asked questions well. Questions like “can you walk me through your CV?”, “can you tell me about yourself?”, among others. Answering these generic, formal questions is relatively easy because these are the questions we expect.

But what if we are suddenly asked a question and the answer is expected to be…fun?

In other words, how should questions like the following should be answered?

  • Can you tell me a fun/interesting fact about yourself?
  • What are your other interests?
  • What do you like to do in your spare time?


Why Such Questions:

The logic is similar to the one behind “can you tell me about a weakness?”. That is, the interviewers want to take a look beyond the candidate’s interview persona. Such questions give them a sense of what they are like outside the office.

Everyone is formal and serious during the interview, but the world beyond the interview involves undertaking tasks, managing teams, coordinating with colleagues, talking to clients and associates, maintaining interpersonal rapport. A well-rounded  persona, with proportionate amount of seriousness and fun won’t harm, right?

Such questions are thus beneficial for the interviewer to know more about a candidate, and for the interviewee to show a different side of their personality.


What Can Such Questions Do:

Such questions asking about interesting aspects of one’s personality give the person getting interviewed opportunities to:

  • Shift the interview from a formal question-and-answer session to a more conversational interaction. We talk about this more later on.
  • Talk about their hobbies (if any, given that these days people don’t have hobbies) and interests
  • Give a sense of what they would be like during out of the office formal events like conferences, dinners, etc,.
  • Talk about themselves as a worker by drawing analogies


The Shift:

This is one of the strongest reason to cash in on such questions, when asked.

Answering (and listening to the answers of) generic questions can get boring. It’s not going to be interesting beyond a point. Think of the interview in terms of rhythm. Changing rhythms keep us engaged. Questions which take a look about the beyond the professional life  can change the rhythm of the interview.

There are times of a calm, almost quiet rhythm, when one talks about the more formal issues, like their skills, their work experience, their strengths and weaknesses; there is a little rise in the tempo perhaps when one begins to talk about how one handled a difficult situation. The rhythm will get peppier as one starts talking about the “fun” things. It will keep the interview interesting.



How Exactly Is One Supposed to Talk about this?:

You have been asked something about yourself. Generic is the last thing you want your answer to be. Relevancy and specificity are some qualities to keep in mind. And the answer should connect to some aspect of your professional life in some way, be it how the interest helped you develop certain soft-skills, or how you got better at a hard-skill.

An example will make it clearer.

A: “I like art.”

B: “I like art. I am not a pro, but I like drawing illustrations based on the everyday things I see around. The last illustration was about the quiet that I noticed in my building when the electricity went off, and how the people came out to talk to each other. It initially started as idle doodling but now I think I have developed an eye for minute details and for making ordinary tasks interesting.”

A is too general. What does it tell about the interviewee besides the fact that they pursue art in their spare time? Not much. On the other hand, B gives a sense of what the interviewee pursues, what their view of the world is like, and what other skills they have developed in the process. Fun fact indeed!


Talking about a fun or interesting fact about yourself in a balanced way can give the interviewer a sense of what kind of a worker and a person you are. It can give a glimpse of your soft-skills, good qualities and how you act when faced with challenges.


Bringing Happiness to Workplace

Happiness and work should be two terms which go well together, but as we all know, the contemporary trends in work culture often leave them on two different poles. Dr. Yogesh Pahuja’s efforts to bridge this gap between happiness and work is what has brought him recognition.

In the recently held World HRD Conference in Mumbai, themed ‘Building Happiness in Workplace’ , Dr. Yogesh Pahuja was conferred the award of the Global Happiness Leader. He was part of the 51 Most Fabulous Happiness Leaders, selected by a distinguished jury.

The World HRD Conference is composed of around a hundred nations from US, UK, Asia, Africa, GCC and Europe.

In addition to being a corporate happiness expert, Dr. Yogesh Pahuja is the founder of Happiness Studio and dons multiple roles: he is  an author, OD facilitator,  trainer, faculty, operations head, with an expertise in content design and taking workshops. With an experience of more than two decades, he blends the academic and the research oriented with the hands on experience of industry. The award is indeed a fitting tribute.


Below are some memorable moments from the event:

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Giving Back to the Community, One Smile At A Time…

What better way to celebrate your birthday than by putting smiles on the faces of little angels? CEO Dr. O.P Pahuja had one such birthday this year.

A happy coincidence saw the birthday and an important event fall on the same day. What was the important event? Reading Aloud Day, organised by Kadam Education Initiative (KEI), which reaches out to underprivileged kids in Ahmedabad through the help of civil society groups, government authorities and corporate groups.

Through Kadam Education initiative (KEI), smiles were brought on the faces of some underprivileged kids this Reading Aloud Day. Stories are a fun and engaging way to imbibe good values in children, and to provide them with a sense of hope and belief  in ‘happy ending’. In an event organised by KEI at the Human Resource and Development Centre at St. Xavier’s College campus, educators and volunteers, called the Bal Dost provided and read out loud hundreds of such stories to the children.

What are the two things kids absolutely see as favourites? Stories and birthdays. So, naturally, an event which saw both- Dr. Pahuja’s birthday and Read Aloud Day stories- is bound to be fun. The day saw the kids singing the birthday song and a prayer, followed by storytelling sessions. Kids are the future, and educating them is the best way one can give back to the society.

In another act of giving back to the society, we also distributed computers through Rotary Club Ahmedabad(North) to Ashram Vinay Mandir Girls School, a public school in the city.

The Ashram Vinay Mandir Girls School, located across Gandhi Ashram is a schooling and hostel facility for underprivileged girls from in and around the district. Contributing to the school was a step towards making technology a little bit more ubiquitously available tool in the country to boost skills, knowledge and information accessibility.


Below are some memorable moments from the two events:

At the KEI event.
At the KEI event.



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At the Ashram Vinay Mandir Girls School/Rotary Club Event



All about the tech.
All about the tech.