Going Virtual: Optimizing Remote Work and School Environments

Remember when “2020” referred to perfect vision or the news television program?

The year 2020 will forever call to mind a series of events, all of which brought a major paradigm shift to work and home.

Working remotely or attending school in a virtual environment has become the new normal to millions. Before the end of Q1, estimates of those working remotely hovered near the 60% mark, according to Forbes, this is roughly double the pre-pandemic numbers. This sudden and dramatic increase reminded businesses still relying on traditional operating models that the “evolve or die” adage is less cliché than it is fact.

Juggling Zoom meetings while helping kids connect to virtual classrooms for school is the new morning routine, and reliance on technology in our now virtual environment comes with a whole new set of challenges:

  • Distractions
  • Security
  • Redefined Work-Life Balance

How Can You Reduce Stress and Anxiety Over Productivity in Remote Environments?

With both parents and kids working, sharing bandwidth too easily disrupts productivity – but it doesn’t have to. For both professionals and kids, a few simple steps can set up your virtual work environment for success:


Spend the time to determine the needs of each professional and student in the home. What will make each most successful? Consider sound level, lighting, and distractions in the area. Think about the technology needs for everyone, including bandwidth and security.

Plan and Prepare

Prep individualized spaces that cater to the productivity needs of each professional or student. Test everything to make sure it’s ready ahead of time to avoid problems in a time crunch.


Setting the scene for individualized success gives you the best chance to focus on your work with minimal distractions.

Don’t let distractions or technology glitches derail everyone. Research and preparation will help tremendously but adjust your plan as needed to keep productivity high and anxiety low.

Tips for Stress-Free Remote Work & School Environments

Here are tips to keep everyone on track and productive:

  1. For a truly individualized workspace catering to productivity, separate yourselves if needed. If kids can be unsupervised, go for it.
  2. Check in often. Are the kids engaged when they need to be, and getting their work done? Are you?
  3. Separate spaces, separate devices! Whether during the workday or not, don’t share devices – especially “corporate” devices – too much of a risk to potentially sensitive data.
  4. Are you noticing lags or delays in meetings? Is it time to upgrade your home internet speed?
  5. Is your home equipment up to the job? This is a major factor in virtual productivity!

With more companies announcing long-term plans for continued remote operations, taking steps to support successful virtual workspaces will be paramount.

One final tip is to celebrate the victories. By giving the good days more attention than the frustrating days, everyone feels the “win” and the positive effect will help prevent future frustrations from overpowering the successes.

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