April 2020

Working from Home

I was having a conversation with a friend recently about working from home. In his 30-year career, he has never had to and was finding it very challenging. Given that I have worked from a home office for almost 30 years, my friend asked me for some tips and advice. As I was suggesting the ideas, he encouraged me to write it up and share the list as a way of helping others. So, in no particular order, here are some of the things I do to optimise working at home:

1. Create a separate space – Having a space dedicated as your work zone helps you to slip into work mode and mentally prepare you for what you need to do. Some may not have this luxury of space, but where possible set yourself up and create a space even if it is temporary that is comfortable with minimal distraction and interruption.

2. Have a structure for the day – By creating a basic structure of the day for yourself, you create a routine and a sense of organisation that may usually come from being in the office environment.

3. Get some exercise in the morning – I always like to start the day with some exercise be it walking the dog, heading to the gym or doing yoga. It energises me for the day so that I can be focused on what needs to be done.

4. Get dressed for work- I find this is an important ritual, it is a cue that I am going to work, and my mindset is ‘turned on to work mode’. After two weeks of working from home, my wife recently mentioned that she now understood why I got dressed for the home office!

5. Have some rituals – it’s really helpful to develop small rituals as part of your day. For example, at the start of my day, I like to burn some incense, make a pot of coffee and fill up my jug of water. At the end of the day, I like to tidy up my office and develop a plan for the next day.

6. Identify the major tasks you need to accomplish for the day – create clear goals for yourself each day – it may only be 2 to 3 things but having a sense of what needs to get done helps provide focus.

7. Schedule regular breaks – Try and change the pace throughout your day by; listening to some music, reading, doing a short meditation or having a brain break!

8. Schedule calls and video meetings so that you are connecting and talking to people- make sure to connect with people to keep up rapport and a sense of engagement with your clients, co-workers and staff. This is beneficial for everyone and helps overcome the feeling of isolation and deepens relationships.

9. Allow for some personal activities – you may want to allocate some time during the day for some shopping, cooking or laundry so that you are managing your work/life balance. I appreciate though that having children at home would pose a far greater challenge.

10. Change your physical state – I like to move about a fair amount whilst I am working as this helps me to maintain my energy and avoid being too static. Try using a standing desk, walking while on the phone or using an exercise ball to sit on for a change.

I hope that you are able to incorporate some of these ideas into assisting you work more effectively at home. As Charles Darwin noted, “It is not the strongest of species that survives; nor the most intelligent that survives- it is the one most adaptable to change”. Some of these ideas have certainly helped my friend adapt to the new world of work.

Lastly, I will be running a FREE Webinar on “Building Culture in Remote Teams” on Thursday April 23 @ 2pm AEST. If this is a topic that is relevant to you right now, please join me by clicking on the link below.

Click here to register



Join Dr Tom Verghese as he shares his thoughts on leadership and cross culture in teams during times of uncertainty.

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Book Recommendation:


The 100 Year Life : Living and Working in an Age of Longevity, Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott

Many of us have been raised on the traditional notion of a three-stage approach to our working lives: education, followed by work and then retirement. Yet going forward this well-established pathway is already beginning to collapse. Life expectancy is rising, final-salary pensions are vanishing and increasing numbers of people are juggling multiple careers.

Whether you are 18, 45 or 60, you will need to do things very differently from previous generations and learn to structure your life in completely new ways. The 100-Year Life offers guidance and suggestions on how to navigate this changing paradigm. Drawing on the unique pairing of their experience in psychology and economics, Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott offer a broad-ranging analysis as well as a raft of solutions, showing how to rethink your finances, your education, your career and your relationships and create a fulfilling 100-year life.

The 100-Year Life is a wake-up call that describes what to expect and considers the choices and options that you will face. It is also fundamentally a call to action for individuals, politicians, firms and governments and offers the clearest demonstration that a 100-year life can be a wonderful and inspiring one.