A Guide to maintaining your A-game while working remotely

Thanks to technology, working remotely is not just viable, it is thriving. A large part of the world’s population has shifted from cubicles and workstations to working from the comfort of their homes in the last decade. But, the most pertinent question with this change in trend is – does working remotely help employees be productive? Yes, with the right systems in place, it does.

In the wake of a pandemic like Coronavirus (COVID-19), working from home has become more than a lucrative option. It is now our moral duty, for the safety of our loved ones, to avoid travel, practice social distancing and stay indoors as much as possible. 

In the last couple of years, BODians have championed working from home while operating from different cities and different time zones. If you or your organisation is new to the idea and are experiencing a ‘work culture shock’, we have curated an actionable guide to help you sail smoothly in these tough times. 

Stay focused & productive while working from home

1. Have a routine & stick to it

If you want to go far, cultivate a routine. Have fixed timings for everything – waking up, checking in, lunch, and even clocking out. As Jagmeet Sidhu, UX Developer, BOD, rightly says, “Work from home doesn’t mean you slack around.”   

2. Eat a healthy breakfast

Consuming a healthy breakfast will help you feel energetic and attentive. You will also feel satiated and not go hunting for snacks or stress-eat while working on high-octane tasks.

3. Get dressed 

Suiting up for work, like every other week-day, or even wearing a fresh pair of clothes that’s super comfortable before you begin working, will “induce a sense of prepping up for office”, says Divya Rathore, Senior Content Writer, BOD.

4. Set up your work desk

Scan your home for a quiet & comfortable spot, and turn it into your workstation. Keep a diary & pen handy, like you’d do in the office. And, before you set camp, do not forget to look for a charging point nearby. 

5. Maintain a good posture

While working from home, you may be tempted to work from your bed, all day long. Overcome it, because you will start slouching after a while and end up with a backache. So, find the most comfortable chair and make it your own.

6. Make a daily checklist  

Creating a checklist, first thing in the morning or the night before, will help you visualise your day clearly. Kabir Tambe, Designer, BOD, says, “At times, I find it difficult to keep up with a routine. Making a checklist helps me stay focused.”

7. Stay focused with the Pomodoro technique

Sitting and working all alone can get monotonous. To break the monotony and maintain your focus, follow the famous Pomodoro technique that advises working in 25-minute bursts with multiple 5-minute breaks and fewer 10-minute breaks.

8. Over-communicate

Asmita Paul, People Strategist, BOD shares that during remote meetings and conferences, if your video is not enabled, show that you are present, alert and listening by replying and/or actively participating.

9. Ensure good internet connectivity

Work without disruptions and stay connected through the day. Choose a spot where your WiFi signal is the best or a place where it won’t hang up on you when you need it the most – like an online call or when you’re sending a heavy document. 

10. Have a quality computer system

Another way to minimise disruptions while working is to invest in a computer system that doesn’t hang, every now and then. Also, buy a good pair of headphones with mic for seamless online meetings. 

11. Let your friends & family know your work schedule

If you are staying with your family or sharing an apartment with your friends, tell them your work timings. If need be, mention that you need to focus deeply on a particular task and any loud noise will divert your attention.

12. Be accountable

Inform your manager or seniors in advance, what you’re striving to accomplish during the day and the timelines that you’d like to set. With this, you won’t feel lost in the day and your team will also be able to plan new tasks, in a better manner. 

Stay positive and make the best use of your time 

With our normal routines being overturned in a matter of a few weeks, it’s natural that a lot of us are anxious. If it’s any relief, know that this is temporary. To help you maintain your composure and stay positive in these tough times, here’s a few more points that will help you utilise this unique situation the best way you can. 

1. Keep moving

Even if it’s inside the house, don’t forget to get up from your desk and walk. Periodic walks are effective in uplifting your mood and helping you concentrate better; they also reduce your screen time.

2. Exercise regularly

While focusing on work is important, taking care of yourself even more so. So, chalk out a routine and practice indoor exercises or yoga to stay healthy, calm and energised. Get adequate sleep and consume a balanced diet. 

3. Appreciate yourself at the end of the day

Appreciate yourself, celebrate your small victories. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Take out time to reflect after a day of productive work, acknowledge all your efforts and come up with strategies to work better. 

4. Foster motivation

Try and keep yourself motivated by keeping rewards like a sweet snack or a short break after completing a set task. This will not only help you to increase your productivity but also incentivize tasks for you. 

5. Keep calm and listen to music

It is important to take care of your mental health in times of social distancing, so try to do things that make you feel relaxed such as listening to music or practicing breathing exercises during times when you feel anxious. 

6. Have virtual ‘coffee/tea’ breaks

If you’re missing your colleagues, go ahead and plan ‘virtual coffee/tea breaks’ with them over video calls. Share your ideas and struggles with them and experience the virtual connection!

7. Utilise free time to pursue a new skill

Sugandh Dhawan, Consultant, BOD, advocates using the time saved from avoiding commute to learn something new like photoshop or coding. You may share your work on social media or even put up live stories teaching others or sharing tips and tricks. 

8. Call up your friends & family 

Use your extra time to catch up with a long-lost friend or friend on video or audio call. Figure out ways to take virtual tours or holidays to museums or national parks with your friends and family by connecting with the concerned authorities. 

9. Pick up the hobby you’ve been meaning to

This is a good time to take up a new hobby like cooking, sketching or painting. Jagmeet Sidhu, UX Developer, BOD says, “A new hobby like cooking is healthier and cheaper than eating out, and it gets you away from a screen.”

10. Stay hydrated

If you’re trying to stay focused, keep yourself hydrated. “Have a water bottle on your desk”, as Divya Rathore, Senior Content Writer, BOD suggests or if you’re using the Pomodoro technique, use your breaks to walk as well as re-hydrate.

11. Take breaks

Don’t overexert yourself and take breaks as and when needed. Try recreational indoor activities like reading a book or playing with your pet during these breaks, so you can get back to work with a fresh mind. 

12. Practice empathy

Asmita Paul, People Strategist at BOD, shares “It is important to practice higher levels of empathy with one another. We are all under high levels of stress due to the situation around us. Let’s try and support each other like never before now. We don’t need to jump into a conclusion if a colleague does not pick-up our call within the first 2 rings.”

Tools to run the show smoothly

Take full advantage of technology and the internet, discover new apps as well as trust the old ones to stay connected with your colleagues and share with them the latest work updates. 

With WhatsApp leading the way, other apps such as SlackHangouts and Zoom help users to set up separate communication channels for work as well as conduct video meetings, share documents; picture; videos and more. LinkedIn and Facebook too help people to stay connected and discover new connections while sharing their opinions at the same time. Trello is another app that helps its users to organize and prioritize their work easily. 24meCheckvist, Google Calendar, Wedo, etc. help users prepare notes, to-do lists, and much more. 

Stay safe and work from home

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic might be your reason to switch to work from home, practically for the first time ever, but so is the case with many other organisations around the world. Put your faith in your team and leverage technology to continue doing your work as efficiently as you’d do it on any other day. Much of our team works from home on a regular basis, so we hope that our suggestions will help you formulate an effective work from home policy, transition smoothly and also get real work done while enjoying the benefits of being at home. 

Stay indoors and don’t forget to wash your hands. 

This post was created by many members of Team BOD who work remotely themselves.To understand how you can implement efficient remote working in your organisation, write to us at strategy@bod.consulting

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About BOD Consulting Team

BOD solves big problems for mid market enterprises to help them become large.We partner with mid-sized firms across industries to solve their most pressing business challenges, unlock value creation and implement transformative solutions to help them compete sustainably at the highest level.

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Arun Gupta

Partner at BOD Consulting | Independent Director & Board Member: Hemas Pharmaceuticals, Sri Lanka and Locuz Enterprise Solutions, India | Co-founder, Fortytwo Labs | Ex-Head eCommerce at DHL | Ex- Head Internet Services at Hughes Telecom | Leadership Development Program- The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth | Leadership Development Program- ISB | Post Graduation in Software Technology from NCST. 

With 38 years of professional experience, Arun has led many groundbreaking IT-driven ventures, shaping the industry and fostering technology adoption. His consulting practice has its foundations based on success as a CIO/CTO across various verticals, geographies, and businesses in mid-market, large enterprises, and Government entities.

Arun’s expertise lies in IT strategy alignment to business strategy & plan, project planning and management, identifying and creating business value from IT, technology team effectiveness, and business Intelligence and analytics. His domain expertise includes Retail, pharmaceuticals, e-commerce, and logistics – though he has consulted across other verticals too.

He has garnered numerous industry awards and recognitions, including the Hall of Fame Awards by CIO Magazine and Information Week. Furthermore, Arun is a celebrated speaker globally and has a passion for photography and travelling.

Bhaskar Pramanik

Expert Advisor at BOD Consulting | Ex-Microsoft, Oracle and Sun Microsystems | Advisory Member of Board of Schulich University, Canada and Bennett University, India | IIT Kanpur

Bhaskar Pramanik is an accomplished management leader and professional from the Technology Industry. He is currently appointed as a Senior Advisor at Rothschild & Co. and Board Member and Independent Director of TCNS Clothing Company Ltd. He is also on the Advisory Board of Schulich University, Canada, and Bennett University, India.

He has previously held National and Global Leadership positions in leading Multinational Technology Companies like Microsoft, Oracle & Sun Microsystems. He has worked in India, Singapore, and the US.

He recently retired from the Board of SBI, India’s largest bank. He has also been on the Executive Committee of NASSCOM and the National Committee of CII and AMCHAM. He regularly speaks at Industry and Leadership forums.

Sidharth Balakrishna

Senior Partner at BOD Consulting | Mentor-MIT Boston, Faster Capital & Tiger Hall| Ex-Essel (Zee) Group and Cairn India| Authored 6 books | IIM Calcutta | SRCC

Sidharth Balakrishna has 18+ years of experience in senior management roles across many noteworthy organisations including the Essel (Zee) Group, Cairn India, KPMG, and Shell. He holds a post-graduate diploma from IIM Calcutta and an Economics (Hons) degree from SRCC, Delhi University.

He is a mentor with MIT Boston (USA), Faster Capital (Dubai), and TigerHall (Singapore) and mentors startups with MassChallenge (Boston and Tel Aviv). He has authored six books and is an adjunct faculty at many leading management institutes.

Deepak Vats

Senior Partner at BOD Consulting | Managing Director, Corpspark Advisors | Ex-BCG and ITC | IIM Calcutta | IIT Kharagpur

Deepak Vats has 16+ years of experience in defining strategic direction for global corporate leaders and new-age start-ups. He holds a post-graduate diploma from IIM Calcutta and a B-Tech degree from IIT Kharagpur.

He is an expert in growth strategy, organisational transformation & new business build. He has previously worked with leading global & Indian corporates and is a Co-founder and incubator of multiple startups in the E-Commerce, SAAS and Technology domains.

Atul Takle

Senior Partner at BOD Consulting | Senior Advisor to PR24x7 and Bridgeweave Technologies | Ex-RPG group, Tata Consultancy Services and Accenture | JBIMS Mumbai | Sydenham

Atul Takle has 30+ years of experience in corporate communications and marketing. He holds a postgraduate degree from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai and a bachelor’s degree from Sydenham college in Mumbai.

He has worked with renowned organisations like RPG group, Tata Consultancy Services, Accenture in India, Pantaloon Retail (India) Limited and SKS Microfinance.
He is currently engaged as a Marketing Consultant to the Scindia School and NIIT University and is a Senior Advisor to PR24x7 & Bridgeweave Technologies.

Sandeep Das

Senior Partner at BOD Consulting | Ex-McKinsey & Co., Kantar Consulting and Interbrand | Delhi University

Sandeep Das has 20+ years of experience working with global brands across multiple geographies on brand, growth and corporate strategy. He holds a master’s degree in Business Economics and Marketing from Delhi University.

He has a successful track record of working in impactful, senior and high client-exposure roles in leading research organisations like McKinsey & Co., Kantar Consulting, Interbrand & Ipsos Strategy3.

Anjali Malhotra

Senior Partner at BOD Consulting | Founder, C-Xcel | Member of FICCI Wise Council | Director, Founder Institute | UCLA Anderson School of Management

Anjali Malhotra has 30+ years of corporate experience across industries like Media, FMCG, Retail and BFSI sectors. She holds a postgraduate degree in Business administration and Management from UCLA Anderson School of Management.

She is the founder of C-Xcel, a boutique advisory practice that helps B2C businesses to achieve greater success through Customer Centricity. She has built brands in highly competitive markets including early-stage businesses like Revlon, Dishtv and Aviva. Over the years, the industry has recognised her as Cx100, Digi 100, Top 10 CDO, Digitalist Thought Leader, Marketer of the year- Media & Entertainment and Best use of Technology in Marketing.

Saurabh Uboweja

Founder & Managing Partner at BOD Consulting | Board member-World Communication Forum Association | Adjunct faculty-EU Business School | Ex-Citibank | IIM Calcutta | NIT Bhopal

Saurabh Uboweja has 16+ years of experience in consulting, branding, leadership development and digital transformation. He holds a post-graduate diploma from IIM Calcutta and a B-Tech degree from NIT Bhopal.

Recognised as one of the 50 Most Influential Strategy Leaders by the World Marketing Congress two times, he serves as an advisor on the boards of both listed and non-listed firms. He is an adjunct faculty at many leading business schools including the EU Business School.

Ajay Kohli

Expert Advisor at BOD Consulting | Chair and Regents Professor at Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business | Among 100 most cited authors in the fields of Business and Economics combined in a decade | University of Pittsburgh | IIM Calcutta | IIT Kharagpur

Dr Ajay K. Kohli is Gary T. and Elizabeth R. Jones Chair and Regents Professor at Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business. He previously taught at eminent institutions like Emory University, Harvard Business School & The University of Texas at Austin.

He holds a doctorate degree from the University of Pittsburgh, a post-graduate diploma from IIM Calcutta and a B-Tech degree from IIT Kharagpur.

He is among the 100 most cited authors in the fields of Business and Economics combined in a decade, and two of his articles are among the 10 most cited Journal of Marketing articles in the past 25 years. In 2017, he received the AMA-Irwin-McGraw-Hill Distinguished Marketing Educator Award and in 2016, he received the Paul D. Converse Award, termed “Marketing Hall of Fame” by Fortune.

Anil Kejriwal

Expert Advisor at BOD Consulting | Founder-I2Cure Pte. Ltd | Board Advisor of Felix Realty | Chairman of the Board of Uttar Industrial Estate- Uttar Development Pvt. Ltd. | IIT Kanpur

Besides investing in several IT start-up companies globally, Anil Kejriwal is the founder of I2Cure Pte. Ltd a global Biotech Company that manufactures patented Molecular Iodine (I₂) products for the global market. The company aims to bring the first-ever range of Cosmeceutical, Pharmaceutical, and Veterinary products based on a breakthrough in Advanced Molecular Iodine (I₂) Science; to provide the world with a solution to deliver more than just short-term, superficial protection against germs and bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

Anil is a B.Tech from IIT Kanpur with over three decades of experience and serves as a Board Advisor of Felix Realty and Chairman of the Board of Uttar Industrial Estate- Uttar Development Pvt. Ltd.

Manoj Agarwal

Expert Advisor at BOD Consulting | COO-Algonomy | Ex-Future Group India and Procter & Gamble | Chartered Accountant | Mumbai University

Manoj Agarwal is the Chief Operating Officer of Algonomy, a Bengaluru-based digital retail solutions company. A certified Chartered Accountant, he has over 20+ years of experience in global organisations, playing diverse roles with increasing responsibilities, including leading and managing high-performance groups to deliver impactful business results.

His expertise lies in Information Architecture and Strategy, Organization Design for productivity, Organisation Change Management, Data-Driven decision-making, Customer service model, Business Intelligence, Enterprise Performance Management & Financial Reporting and Consolidation.

    J Suresh

    Expert Advisor at BOD Consulting | National Council Member of Retailers Association of India | Ex-HUL and Arvind Fashions Ltd. | IIM Bangalore

    J Suresh is a highly respected leader and key spokesperson in the Consumer and Retail Industry who is currently working as an Independent Consultant. In a career spanning over 4 decades, he has largely worked for Hindustan Unilever Ltd. & Arvind Fashions Ltd. He retired as the MD & CEO of Arvind Fashions Ltd in 2021. He holds a post-graduate diploma from IIM Bangalore.

    He serves as the National Council Member of the Retailers Association of India and in the past has been the Chairman of CII’s National Council on Retail & Chairman of India Fashion Forum.

    He has played a key role in mentoring & leadership development of his subordinates. Many of them have grown to be successful CEOs of many companies.

    Thomas Varghese

    Expert Advisor at BOD Consulting | Business Head-Aditya Birla Group’s Textile Businesses | Ex-Chairman, CII – National Committee on Retail (2009-11) | Harvard Business School | IIT Delhi

    Thomas Varghese is the Business Head of Domestic Textiles, Overseas Spinning and Acrylic Fiber Businesses of The Aditya Birla Group’s Textile Businesses. In the last 21 years, he has held multiple positions in the group and helped Aditya Birla Retail emerge as one of India’s foremost Supermarket & Hypermarket Retailers as its MD & CEO.

    He holds an Advanced Management Program degree from Harvard Business School and Bachelor’s degree in Textile Sciences and Engineering from IIT Delhi.

    Apart from being the Chairman of the CII – National Committee on Retail for 3 years (2009-11) and a member of the Coca-Cola Retail Research Council for Eurasia & Africa, he has received many accolades including CEO of the Year by the Asian Retail Congress in Mumbai (2012), Most Admired Retail Professional of the Year at IRF (2010), Outstanding Business Leader by Aditya Birla Group (2004) and Distinguished Alumnus award of the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi (2002).

    Dr Raman Kumar

    Professor | Researches on Asset Pricing, Derivative Securities and Financial Markets | Served on over 50 dissertation committees | Ph.D.-University of Pittsburgh | PGDM-IIM Calcutta

    Raman Kumar is the R.V. and A.F. Oliver Professor of Investment Management in the Department of Finance, Insurance and Business Law at the R.B. Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech. He received his PGDM (MBA) from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta and his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh. He teaches finance and economics courses in the undergraduate, MBA, Executive MBA, and PhD programs.
    His research work largely centres around Asset Pricing, Derivative Securities, Financial Markets, Market Microstructure, and Empirical Research Methods in Finance, with some of his works published in prestigious publications such as the Journal of Finance, Journal of Finance and Economics, and Journal of Corporate Finance. 

    He has served on over 50 dissertation committees as Chair, Co-chair or member for PhD students in the Departments of Finance, Accounting and Information Systems, Marketing, Management, Hospitality and Tourism Management, Economics, Building Construction, and Civil Engineering at Virginia Tech.
    Shubhendu Agrawal

    Shubhendu Agrawal

    Senior Partner at BOD Consulting | General Electric (USA), Nestlé, Tata Motors | IIM Calcutta | University of Pune

    Shubhendu Agrawal has 18+ years of experience in Strategy, Business Operations, Organisation Transformation, Process Design & Implementation and Commercial Excellence. He also has extensive experience in the end-to-end New Product Development cycle – from consumer insights to product adoption & growth. He holds a postgraduate diploma from IIM Calcutta and a B-Tech degree from the University of Pune.

    He is passionate about profitable growth & social impact and serves as an advisor/member on the boards of several social enterprises & non-profits.


    Kanika Mathur

    Senior Partner, BOD Consulting | Founder, K-Trends | Ex COO APAC Mullen Lowe I Ex-Senior Vice President (Digital & Content Marketing), Dubai Tourism | Ex-Managing Director, Digitas | Ex-CMO, Harappa Education

    As a Marketing & Digital Transformation Strategist, Kanika Mathur has 30+ years of extensive interdisciplinary experience across Technology, CPG, Travel and Ed-tech. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Arts from Delhi University.

    Her professional career spans multiple industries and renowned organisations. She founded ‘Solutions Integrated Marketing Services’ in India. She set up Razorfish for the Publicis Groupe & shaped it into one of the country’s largest interactive agencies. As its first CMO, she also helped bolster the Harappa Education brand.

    Sumit Singla

    Sumit Singla

    Senior Partner, BOD Consulting | Independent HR Advisor at MSMEs | People Strategist, CompTeam | Guest Faculty Member, MDI | ex-Deloitte | ex-Accenture | ex-Aon

    With 18+ years of experience in the HR and Consulting domain, Sumit Singla has worked with various prominent organisations. He holds a Bachelor’s in Engineering from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh & a PG Diploma in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations from XLRI Jamshedpur.

    He has teamed up with diverse clients on a variety of high-impact projects relating to HR transformation, organisation restructuring, M&A, and HR tech.

    Currently, he consults with micro, small & medium enterprises to intensify their HR capabilities, while also mentoring young professionals. He has authored a book that deals with workforce experience & also participates in speaking engagements, forums, and guest lectures at business schools.


    Dr PV Ramana Murthy

    Expert Advisor at BOD Consulting | Managing Partner at Pinsight By PV | Adviser – Employment and Labour Law Practice at Economic Laws Practice | Board Member at Swadha Foundation | Ex Global CHRO, Indian Hotels Company Ltd | Ex Executive VP HR, Coca-Cola

    Dr Murthy boasts an extensive 35-year corporate career, during which he contributed to renowned Fortune 500 and Global organisations. Apart from being a Lawyer, he holds a Master’s Degree in Organisational Psychology from INSEAD, Singapore. Additionally, he earned his Ph.D. in Strategic Human Resource Management from Sri Krishnadevaraya University, Andhra Pradesh. 

    Beyond his legal background, he serves as an HR Advisor and Consultant, extending his expertise to Indian and multinational companies. His focus spans leadership development, culture transformation, and integrated talent management services. His recent collaborations include supporting organisations like Bosch, Tata Projects, Novo Nordisk, and Taj SATs.

    During his stint at Coca-Cola, Dr Murthy not only managed the global leadership development function for the Bottling Investment Group (BIG) but also facilitated impactful leadership development initiatives.

    Mukesh Mathur

    Senior Partner at BOD Consulting |Ex-Godrej & Boyce, Polaris Retail Infotech and Oracle India | IIM Calcutta | IIT Kanpur

    Mukesh Mathur has 40+ years of experience in sales, marketing, and general management with leading Indian Companies and MNCs. He holds a post-graduate diploma from IIM Calcutta and a B-Tech degree from IIT Kanpur.

    He is passionate about training managers in KAM, value selling, and negotiations. He has been in senior leadership positions in Godrej & Boyce, Polaris Retail Infotech, and Oracle India, successfully managing multiple product categories including consumer durables, office automation, banking equipment, industrial material handling, and service engineers.