Quarantine: It’s possible to be productive from home
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24 آذار/مارس 2020 Author :   Ann Makena Kobia

NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - Extraordinary times call for extraordinary decisions! The Covid-19 pandemic is one such.

All have been advised to employ social distancing to curb spread of the coronavirus.

Employers have released staff and, in some cases, asked them to work from home.

This may be confusing, as many have never worked from home.

Human resource departments might not have had adequate time to orient staff before offices were vacated following a government advisory.

It is still possible to be productive from home.
Start with a plan: Not everything can be done from home, but in the contributions of continuity of business plans in the extraordinary times, ensure you have the most important tasks taken care of. Ensure your plan resonates and is aligned with the priorities of your organisation.

Create a working space: Business has to continue, but differently and uniquely. Figure out a space that you could convert into a temporary office. It could be your living room, bedroom or even garage, but the environment needs to be conducive enough to enable you to deliver. Where necessary, make children understand your need to be alone. Do not assume that they already understand, even though they could be knowing they are home because of the pandemic. This will help reduce distractions.

Embrace technology: Do not take the technology at your exposure for granted. Be ready to learn and embrace new ways of doing things. Also take your time to learn the new communication platforms such as Blue Jeans and zoom, and help your colleagues to learn the same remotely whenever necessary. Working on Google docs will enable you to deliver. This could also be the time your employer could be looking out for the swiftest and most creative minds.

Consult: Consultation is easier in a physical office where you can walk to a colleague or just call an extension. But that luxury is gone. Frequent calls to your supervisor may not even be appreciated. However, try not to take random decisions without involving relevant authorities. Quarantine is not excuse for recklessness.

Create time for family: We have to deliver, but that does not mean complete hibernation. Take breaks and show up. Take this opportunity to show your people, especially children, what you do. You could involve them in your work, where possible, to help them appreciate your job.

Know netiquette: The only means of operation at this time is internet. Acquaint yourself with the relevant internet etiquette by ensuring your microphone and video are on mute while not speaking in a conference call, as the background destructions annoy and are a sign of disrespect to your team.

Evaluate your achievements: Take stock of what you have achieved every day, as this will motivate you. Accept the change: We are absorbing the extraordinary shock that has been brought by Covid-19. Even with the uncertainty, worrying is not the solution. Take the right measures while trying to deliver.   

Ann Kobia is a HR and organisation development specialist at Pan African Climate Justice Alliance.

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