The date is December, two thousand and Nineteen. Wuhan City, China.
The world woke up to a shocking change. The first human cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19, subsequently named SARS-CoV-2 was first reported. Since then, the pandemic has continued to rage around the world with more than 200 million cases worldwide. Everything has been impacted. How we live and interact with each other, how we work and communicate, how we move around and travel. Every aspect of our lives has been affected.
Our world and life as we know it has changed!
As the coronavirus pandemic escalates, and disruptions to business-as-usual continues, managers are grappling with the unknown. As governments, organizations and businesses come under this “new normal”, how has it worked for many? With human society the world over being heavily dependent on the internet, remote work became the order of the day. Thus, Work From Home (WFH) is born, or rather for some, perfected!
Around the world, to some, work from home is and is still a good trend that a lot of people enjoyed. To others, it was not so great for people who earn a living by being physically present – cleaners for instance, and some types of artisans. For many people, work is a daily escape from abuse and poverty. It’s the only place they experience constant electricity and Internet access. The only location with running water and clean toilets. Where no one is screaming at them or ordering them around. In this reality, many had nervous breakdowns while offices remained shut.
In the wake of the global Pandemic, HALG Senior leadership took steps to foster a shared mindset of the “best place to work”. This resulted in scheduled plans drawn for flexible remote work from home for staff. Meetings and capacity building were done using video conferencing platforms like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, WhatsApp, etc. Over time, Our Communications Unit has leveraged online collaborative platforms to jointly deliver content and train field workers. This shift to remote work has brought the various zones and headquarters closer together helping us to maintain accountability, boost morale, and reinforce connections. This has confirmed that our culture and value of Innovation, Partnership, Teamwork, and Duty of collegial care are strong.
As we adapted to the landscape of remote delivery, HALG is fortunate that its in-house Information Technology (IT) unit provided project teams not only with state-of-the-art tech, but with world-class training, support, and experience in the soft skills—the how-to of online training, webinars, and interactive workshops—that make those platforms perform. For example, cybersecurity has emerged as every day, every employee’s concern as work shifts to the home. HALG’s IT team shares tips and useful reports every week on how to keep systems and client interactions safe from online harm.
In terms of quality, remote work enables increased flexibility and autonomy and frees employees from a rigid, one-size-fits-all work window, meaning that staff can work in a more personalized environment. It provided complete solitude for the loners, background music for those who prefer it, working late into the night for our night owls, or the opposite for our early birds. The flexibility to work in optimal conditions—and perhaps an increased sense of personal ownership that comes with working alone has been reported by most as a plus.
In several online articles about conversations that are somewhat related to the experiences most of us have had during the COVID-19 pandemic, the reality of working from home due to COVID-19 restrictions comes in varying shades
These two worlds remind us about perspectives. That I want something, doesn’t mean others want it in the same way or even at all. Because life is a bubble shaped by our experiences, expectations, beliefs, and ambitions. Everyone has theirs. Too and many times, what is “doing me” is just not what is doing you.
So, tell us. How has work from home changed your life? We would love to hear from you.