What were you doing when the Government announced the lockdown in March?
Well, for many of us, we were busy in going on in our lives, hustling and bustling in the streets on Nairobi. After the first case was announced, a lot of changes had to be done and with no clear end in sight, many organizations had to change how they work. Working from home was one of them.
Suddenly, offices were empty. Streets were empty. It was quiet, but work had to be done.
For many employees, the routine at work was structured. Monday meetings and briefings, tea breaks, lunch breaks, meetings with clients, doing reports and signing out till the following day. Well, at least for most of them.
So what happens when you suddenly have to stay home and get work done? It is during this time that many households got internet connection. Service providers such as Zuku and Safaricom Fiber saw an increase in sales. Many organizations had to find a way to still hold meetings and connect to clients, and this could only be done online.
The structure of work places does not apply in the home situation. Unless you already had an office, you will face a lot of distractions as you try to get work done.
Children playing or watching cartoons would be a distraction especially if you live in apartments. Everything going on in the house, from cleaning to cooking has served as a distraction for many employees.
With these concerns, a few budget hotels offered their rooms for those who want to work in peace, and escape the family distraction. With a charge of Ksh 2,000 a day, you would get a quiet room, tea served and peace of mind. quite bright, right?
Zoom and all its challenges
While we were familiar with one on one web chat services like Google hang outs and skype, Zoom was a different kind of monster that a lot of employees had no idea of.
With no clear guidance, many were asked to connect and have meetings online. A lot of issues arose, which prolonged meetings that would have lasted a shorter time. One of those issues was employees not muting their mics, and everybody talking at the same time. Another issue is using video, not aware that the whole team was watching, and some would be caught doing different personal and embarrassing things.
With time, many employees learned how to use Zoom, as much as they tried to avoid it.
With a lot of times on our hands, most of us turned to DIY projects. Being indoors all the time made a lot of us think of ways to improve our spaces, so they would look great in zoom meetings. Trust me on this.
Re-painting of walls, adding more home decor, wall hangings, better looking furniture, book shelves. For most of us who only get to stay home over the weekend, the pandemic forced us to improve our spaces.
With the ease of restrictions, we have found our way round working from home. from dealing with distractions to operating zoom calls. With a bit of discipline, the output and productivity from home will still be the same as working from the office.