Working from home is the new reality. Or is it? For those of us who were working from home before the pandemic, the changes are positive. Everyone is on the same platform for calls, no one bats an eye at the occasional dog bark or cat cameo and it seems that everyone is just a bit more accommodating.

So, from the veterans in the field, what makes working from home easier?

Technology, certainly

From an adequate internet connection and up-to-date apps to understanding and working through the mental implications of the digitized explosion that has just happened, we are all dealing with multiple new challenges.

With the onset of working from home, there is a new, individual pressure to always be “on.” When working remotely, there is always pressure for “the line” to be good, to have no distractions and, with Zoom, to have a professional appearance (even if it’s just from the shoulders up).

It’s important to keep in mind that having the right technology will help to alleviate some stress. Even if the call, connection or hair isn’t perfect, we are all facing the same struggles – the playing field has become very level. The days when you used to dial in to a conference call where everyone else was laughing and chatting in the room in person seem like a distant memory.

Be flexible

When software doesn’t work, which will happen at some point, make sure you have a backup plan.

Having a flexible contingency plan gives others in your meeting confidence that you are in control and helps lower stress.

We all have bad connection days, and the transition to working from home was tough, but we are all doing the best we can to stay connected.

If you use Zoom, great. If the connection is not working, shut down your video. If that doesn’t help, there is always Skype or Google Hangouts. If those aren’t working either, there is still your phone. The important thing is to have the meeting and make the connection. Remaining flexible will help us all to manage this massive work–lifestyle transition.

Keep a schedule

Keeping a schedule is the most important tip we can offer. It’s the best way to keep that break between work and home when working from home. Use your calendar app and make a schedule. The longer you work from home, the less opportunity you will find for leisurely breaks and lots of free time.

  • Keep your morning routine. If you used to have a long commute, continue to use that “commute” time to do something for yourself.
  • Take a physical lunch and coffee break – that means leaving your desk.
  • Walk away from your computer at the end of the workday.

It’s so easy to blend our personal lives with work when we are all staying close to home and minimizing our social activity, but taking time for yourself and taking breaks is very important for your mental wellness. Make personal plans outside of work, and make an honest effort to keep them. You may be amazed at what you are able to accomplish.

What should you do with this information today?

The Zoom application is a hot topic in the world today – Zoom fatigue, Zoom firings and Zoom chats can short-circuit a brain function essential for trust. But working from home is not only about Zoom.

Using these tips about technology, flexibility and scheduling can go a long way to make working from home easier and less stressful.

About Ursula Green

Halmyre Vice-President Ursula Green is a chief experience officer and is deeply committed to working for our clients' clients. She is an expert in strategic customer-centric service design, analysis and ideation. Ursula is a member of the Canadian Marketing Association 2020--21 Customer Experience Council. Ursula has worked for a wide range of brands from household names such as BMW, Mastercard, Home Depot and Canon to service-based organizations such as Women's College Hospital and Confederation College. 

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