#WFH in Montreal // Kathy Acimovic

April 2020

In a truly unprecedented moment in history, most of the world is having a similar experience in that they are confronted with the social restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Kathy Acimovic, a Montreal-based creative strategist, had been working from home for a few months pre-COVID, but previously spent most of her professional life in the confines of a typical office.

The separation of home and work life, despite having access to all kinds of communication technology that can sometimes blur the boundaries, is something to be relished.  For Kathy, there is indeed something sacrosanct about the routine of leaving home and physically going to work; in leaving one space for another, you can assume a different role at work.  Conflating a home persona and an office persona come with its challenges on how to balance the expectations and needs of both aspects of her life.

Albeit not the easiest of transitions as she may have anticipated, Kathy does relish in not having to commute to the office and deal with the habitual traffic.  The proximity of her work station to her yoga mat is a gentler way to start the morning.  Sometimes though, Kathy does wonder whether working from home robs her of her usual ambitious nature, as the level of energy at home is much more subdued.  On the other hand, there is more time at home for personal reflection, and allowing the mind to explore the imagination and the potential of personal creative projects.

Though she’s been working from home for a little while, the impact of the new social and professional COVID-19 parameters did not go unnoticed by Kathy.  The combination of physical distancing and working from home has exposed the valuable contributors on a team, as well as those who “coast” without much input on a given project.  Although she can empathize that it’s hard to keep her work productivity and the performance quality consistent and in line with her standards, she does appreciate when members of the team pull equal weight on Zoom calls.

Now that video conferencing is the only option for collaboration, she realizes the benefits of being well-lit and having a better background to look better on these calls.  Looking at herrself on screen with others for that long nudges Kathy to improve her conferencing game.  She is considering shifting her work space so that it can double as a video conferencing studio. Good light and a better background are now the new checkpoints for optimizing confidence and clarity on these calls.

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