Work from home is a convenient option during emergencies when you have used up all your office leaves or a global pandemic hasn’t left you with many choices. Yes, I’m referring to the now-ubiquitous COVID-19 (an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Several countries are on lockdown and it seems like the number of patients in India is growing day-by-day.
Seeing the pandemic, many offices are allowing people to work from home so that they don’t contract the virus while traveling. I, too, am working from home and it is quite boring. Not necessarily the work, but the aura of the home. I feel lazy, crave food every now and then, get bored as I can’t move freely and I have to respect the office hours! This pushed me to think about this article that you are currently reading.
If you too are quite bored and clueless, I understand it. I have done this before and I wish I had this information that makes work from home a breeze. So, I’ll tell you about 10 apps that can make your “free” hours quite productive and give you peace of mind while working. Ensure that you do not waste your time too much on the apps as some are meant for your break time. I have included a few apps that might help you while grinding those hours and being fearless during a difficult period. So, let’s get this show on the road!
1. Google News
I would advise you to NOT INDULGE IN FAKE NEWS or believe everything that you receive on your WhatsApp. So, to tackle any doubts, why not stay updated? No, I’m not telling you to read a newspaper. Google News is much more than a newspaper. Think of it as a newspaper stand where all the newspapers are sold at once, wherein you consume different news from different sources.
Google News is a consolidated news app that covers every tidbit of global events and updates you every second. Now that the coronavirus is upon us, some miscreants might indulge in spreading fake news. Tackle them by downloading this app from the link below.
- Quick Breaking News.
- Access your favorite news and magazines.
- Full Coverage feature for a complete story.
- Dark Mode support.
2. Daily Yoga
The world is quite chaotic right now and evading paranoia while being calm could be two different phenomenons. Here’s where Yoga comes in. The practice, that is said to be about 5,000 years old, literally means union in Sanskrit. You must practice it thoroughly and in order to do that, you need an instructor, or as they say!
Daily Yoga is a fantastic app that teaches you the sport that can work every muscle in your body. So if you are a beginner, fret not! The app has a myriad of guided classes that will help you learn the basics. If you think you can take the advanced classes, so be it. Their world-class teachers will help you heal through breathing techniques and achieve the pandora’s box of human health.
- Create a Private Yoga Plan.
- Track Your Activity.
- Supports Dark Mode.
- Intimate community.
Sounds aren’t always bad but the overzealous Indian celebrations have made me the blind extraterrestrial creature of ‘A Quiet Place’ that has an acute sense of hearing. While in the office, you are naturally inclined to work for a few hours and you can’t get past it. The same can’t be said for the aura of the home. In order to make your work more professional and soothing, Ambience by Mikdroid is the perfect app.
As the name suggests, it creates an ambience or an aura by just an easy click. You can choose from rain, night, or ocean sounds. But if you have an urban heart, you may choose countryside sounds. Those looking for peace, there’s Zen Garden. Why don’t you try this app and make your work from home environment quite tranquilizing?
- Rain, ocean sounds.
- Relax work time.
- High-quality sounds.
- Mix up to 10 sounds simultaneously.
This list wouldn’t be complete without Google’s beloved YouTube application. Well, I don’t think it needs any introduction. A video library that contains content worth thousands of hours is already a favorite. Not to mention, you can watch videos without paying a penny. Although, Google has introduced a premium tier named YouTube Premium I can tell you that’s not needed.
Just type in a keyword in the search bar and you’ll find videos of all types and languages to get you through your break time. If you haven’t already, check out YouTube by clicking the link below.
- Unlimited free content.
- Filter videos.
- Download offline.
- Wide range of content.
5. Amazon Prime Video
While I think most people will be well off with YouTube’s free content, paid content is relatively top-notch. If you have the penny, there’s no harm in trying. Amazon Prime Video is a wonderful video-on-demand service that ticks all the boxes. Right from laugh-riots to thrillers and horrors that will scare the bejeezus out of you.
New Hindi movies premiere on Amazon’s video service before it hits the TV while there are some amazing original TV shows that will definitely provide some edge-of-the-seat drama. Just search, choose and play. However, you’ll have to pay ₹129 per month or ₹ 999 per year to watch the amazing content. Download Amazon Prime Video from the link given below.
- Wide catalog of shows and movies.
- Pay ₹999 a year.
- Amazing original content.
- Download content to watch on the go.
We casually throw the phrase ‘Just Netflix and chilling’ but don’t give Netflix the credit it deserves. The American media-services provider was founded back in 1997 and has remained relevant in 2020. The content is rich (second to Prime Video), entertaining, and quite easily becomes an addiction.
My colleagues are glued to Money Heist, which was the most-watched content on Netflix in 2019 across major European markets. Now that’s saying something. You can stream content in any language you want, in any genre, anytime – as long as you pay for it. For those who watch content on their mobile, a minimum ₹200 plan is the best for you while the premium subscription costs ₹800. So, will you be chilling tonight?
- Create up to five profiles for an account.
- Unlimited content.
- Preview quick videos.
- Download content for offline viewing.
Hotstar is yet another video-on-demand service that will suck the boredom out of you. With over 100,000 hours of TV shows and movies that cater to the Indian audience, I say you are sorted. But Hotstar was in the news as it was premiering the Game of Thrones the same time as the US did. Moreover, if you subscribe to Hotstar VIP (₹365/year), you’ll get unlimited access to live sports that include Premier League, IPL, Tennis, etc.
Hotstar Premium (₹299/month – ₹999/year), however, offers some of the latest American TV shows, Hollywood movies, shows, and Originals. You can stream them in most languages, including English. So, download Hotstar from the link below.
- Watch regional content.
- Indulge in live sports.
- Popular Indian Movies and TV Shows.
- Access to American TV shows/Hollywood movies/Originals.
8. Hello English
Work from home leaves a lot to be desired. Even if you finish your work on time, you’ll still save a lot of your traveling time. So, why not go all out on the language you always wanted to learn? Who am I kidding? No one can learn a new language in 2 weeks. Let’s improve the language we already know! I introduce you to Hello English. Unlike most of the English-teaching apps, this doesn’t make high claims of teaching you English within a time frame.
The app’s best feature is its ability to teach you English with the help of your mother tongue. Be it Hindi, Indonesian, Thai, Arabic, Malay, or Urdu – Hello English offers comprehensive learning courses that will improve your grammar, spoken English, and build your vocabulary. Let’s say hello to English, shall we?
- Learn English from other languages.
- 475 Interactive Lessons.
- Interactive Games.
- Discussions with teachers.
- 10,000 words dictionary.
9. PUBG Mobile
PUBG has set a benchmark for battle royale games. With constant updates, the game demands and deserves your attention. The epic 100-player classic battles never seem to bore games but the added Zombie mode makes the game more interesting. The breathtaking graphics are unbeaten. Playing a match or two in between your breaks could be the calm that you might need. So, download PUBG from the link below.
- Free to play.
- Astonishing HD graphics and 3D sound.
- Customizable mobile controls.
- 4v4 Team Deathmatch & Zombie modes.
10. Microsoft Soduku
I never understood Sudoku, until I played Microsoft’s offering. The logic-based, combinatorial number-placement puzzle was just a bunch of numbers for me but as I solved them, they quickly became my favorite! You get to choose from 6 difficulty levels. Doesn’t matter if you have never played Sudoku in your lifetime, you’ll learn your ways around the game. Developers add 3 new daily challenges every day so that you evade boredom. I have really enjoyed Microsoft Sudoku and so will you. Try it out from the link given below.
- Freshly generated puzzles every game.
- Daily Challenges.
- Multiple different themes.
- Erase mistakes.
If you want to take a break that doesn’t involve your digital life, you can rely upon old methods. Presuming that you have your old Solitaire or Uno cards lying at home, you can play them with your family/friends to strategize that will take your mind off the pandemic.
Tips to Work from Home
- Make sure to work in a dedicated workspace.
- Wear your work clothes to create the aura.
- Schedule your work time.
- Take breaks.
- Eat healthy foods and keep hydrating.
- Take a brisk walk.
It must feel weird now that you’ve been suddenly thrust into the world of remote work. As social distancing has become a thing now, work from home is your safe bet. I have done it in the past as I already mentioned and it has a different aura to it. Sure, you can easily lose focus now that your pesky team leader isn’t staring at the Instagram tabs you would hastily close detecting their presence.
I would advise you to be alert and take precautionary measures. Doing your office work at your home could be unusual for many of you but once you use the aforementioned tips and apps, boredom will soon vanish from your routine.
Are you working from home? How’s your experience so far? Let our readers know in the comments section below. Also, if you feel I have left out an application that people are missing out on, feel free to mention those too! Stay home, stay safe!