Five ways to rock working-from-home, and some tools to help

Cat Mules

Here we are again: locked down and restricted with travel and social time - but we need not let our mental health and work-life be sacrificed... Tune in to these pointers on how to be productive and healthy while WFH.

What does “working” from home really look like? Our everyday routines of driving, bussing or, for the ultra-organised, cycling or walking into work for our 9-5s, our tussles over meeting rooms, our water cooler chats –  all has been turned on its head. Here are what experts advise are the best apps to help you with WFH.

1. Take care of yourself

No matter how tempting to stay in PJs all day (especially now, when you can do it every day…), prioritise your health, hygiene and self-image to boost motivation and productivity. And yes, get a bit glammed up in a fancy work shirt or lippie for your daily video meeting – this will be the most people see of you all day, after all. Taking care of yourself will help you be refreshed, revitalised, and on form to tackle whatever life throws at you, too.

Our top apps for self-care:

CLASSPASS – Choose video and livestream classes at the top studios – from cycling to strength training to yoga. An essential for a healthy WFH lifestyle. 

FABULOUS – This science-based goal planner and tracker app, incubated in Duke’s Behavioural Economics Lab, is designed to reinforce your positive, healthy lifestyle.

MOODPATH – A personalised mental health companion, Moodpath is designed to help you reflect on and understand your thoughts and feelings, as well as encourage and guide you toward action.


2. Set and work toward objectives

Your time is valuable – so do all you can to make things easy for yourself. Set a daily rise-up and wind-down ritual and be clear on your objectives for each day. Kris Carr, New York Times best-selling wellness activist, says we should batch our activities to help with structuring – “Whenever possible, batch activities like meetings, inbox time, etc. together on your calendar. That way you’ll have long periods of dedicated focus to work toward your top objectives.”

Our top apps for structuring your remote work:

DONE – A sleek habit tracker that helps you re-jig and re-focus your WFH lifestyle for daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals, along clean progress bars.

FOCUS KEEPER – Keep your productivity at its max while avoiding burnout, with customisable tasks and focus sessions, time-keeping, and regular breaks that are key for your wellbeing.  

TOGGLE – Need to track your time to the minute? Toggle is widely recommended – as well as tracking your time, it generates insightful reports across all devices, to help you learn how much your time is worth.


3. Kindness is key

Even though our world is uncertain right now, we can help each other. Being grateful has proven health benefits, so savour each day and your opportunity to make a positive difference in the world.

Our top apps for staying present:

INSIGHT TIMER – Choose from 40,000 guided meditations and talks from world-renowned experts, neuroscientists, scientists and teachers, alongside tracks from leading musicians.

REFLECTLY – This personal journal will teach you the science of well-being, creating opportunities for self-reflection to help you move away from negativity and towards positive thinking.

OAK – A meditation and breathing app intended to help both beginners and experts with the art of mindfulness.


4. Connect and re-invent

Times of massive disruption and change are not new – there are always actions we can take now, to build a better tomorrow. Use this time to stay collaborative with your teams and peer groups to exchange ideas and opportunities. As Simon Sinek, author of ‘Start With Why’ and ‘The Infinite Game’, said in a team meeting on LinkedIn, “It’s not ‘how will we get through this?’, Its ‘how are we going to change to get through this?’”

Our top apps for a forward-focused mindset:

CURATOR – Get those thoughts organised! Curator allows you to collect visual inspiration, create mood boards and refine your visual storytelling – as well as export, share, present and collaborate with your team.

NOTION  – Take notes in fully integrated way; link between pages, embed images and export as web pages or PDFs.


5. Create a workplace sanctuary for inspiration to flow

In your new home working environment, may creative ideas and peaceful productivity flow…

For some of us, with kids, noisy neighbours and lack of technology, it may seem hard to find our zen, so it’s key you’re targeted with your boundaries. Your spot should be associated only with work and avoid the kitchen table, bed or other typically home life area. Figure out ways to have time just for you and make sure others know when you are – and when you are not – available.

Our top apps for getting your feng-shui flowing:

FREEDOM – block the distractions of social media, emails and other distracting online noise and stay focused. An essential if you struggle with procrastination!

CALM  –  create your perfect soundscape of nature noises with this app, scientifically proven to help with work, as well as sleep, and relaxation.

DIARYZAPP  – Need a boredom buster for the kids, while WFH? This interactive journaling helps children craft their literacy skills, while also entertaining their imagination and creativity.


We can’t change the way we work without changing our mindset and habits in the process. And realistically, when done right, remote working can be great for business. We’ve got your back here in the Umbrellar network to help you survive and thrive in the virtual world. We’ll be releasing more on steps you can take and should you need immediate help or guidance with WFH, contact one of our brilliant partners to see you through!

Cat Mules

Umbrellar's Digital Journalist, coming from a background in tech reporting and research. Cat's inspired by the epic potential of tech and helping kiwi innovators share their success stories.


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Microsoft is a technology company whose mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more. We strive to create local opportunity, growth, and impact in every country around the world.


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The Cloud, Done Right. Umbrellar is New Zealand’s only dedicated Azure & Azure Stack Managed Services specialist. That’s why successful New Zealand companies of all sizes choose us to transform their businesses.

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