The world has been turned upside down. Regular Monday through Friday routines are out the window. After years of going into an office, millions of people are now working from home and trying to figure out how to remain productive and connect with their teams.

The good news is that technology is here to help you. Just because you are working in your home office, at your dining room table or on your couch doesn’t mean you can’t have your 9 am daily stand-up or chat with your pal in Accounting while getting your 2 pm coffee. Here is a list of technology that is ready to help bridge the virtual divide and make your day as “normal” as it can be while working remotely.

Video Conferencing:

Zoom, WebEx, GoToMeeting. These are all easy to use from your laptop, phone or tablet. You don’t need an account to join a meeting and they have great features with the free versions including whiteboarding, screen sharing and the option to call in via phone. Video conferencing is not only good for formal meetings but for casual conversation too. When working from home you need to set up a set schedule that mirrors your workday; otherwise you might not leave your computer until 7 pm. Use video conferencing to have lunch with the regular crew. Don’t talk about work and give each other a tour of your house or introduce your kids or pets to the gang.

Chat:

Skype and Slack. These tools are great for the “pop over” type of communication. When you were in the office you would lean back in your chair and ask your co-worker “Hey have you gotten a response from Bob yet?”. Use Slack or Skype to instant message your co-worker instead of clogging up their inbox. You can also send emojis and gifs or just chat about the latest episode of Survivor with your 2 pm coffee pal.

Working remotely is new to so many of us and the technology can be overwhelming. Have fun with it, embrace it and you just may never want to return to the office again. Plus you can work in yoga pants or sweatpants and no one will know!

By Megan Cashion | People Science Talent Advisor II