By Eleen Korir

With the current pandemic of Covid-19, most companies around the globe have had challenges on how to handle their employees as well ensure delivery and business continuity. As a matter of fact, most people lost their jobs due to businesses scaling down, shutting down due to lack of business, lock down in some regions etc. some have had to take a pay cut as a result of the reduced business turnover. The lucky ones have had an opportunity to work remotely from home.

Working from home has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on an individual and the kind of work one is doing. To work from home one needs to have the following skills;

  1. Self-Motivation to focus on work despite the urge to do own work
  2. Self-discipline and proper time use and management
  3. To be able to work without supervision and be self-sufficient
  4. Being able to be good in communication
  5. Ability to interact and use technology
  6. To able to manage home-work balance.

I did a simple survey among our staff on what they think about working from home based on the following:

1. How has it been? (your effectiveness in delivering your work- compared to when you worked from the office)

While a few indicated that Working from home did not have much difference as when they were working from office, some indicated that their effectiveness in delivering on their duties got better, though with some struggling when they first started working from home. The team cited the availability of systems such as, Desk Time, Asana, Zoom, Google Meet and calendar help a lot in managing time and ensuring completion of tasks.

2. What are the challenges of working from home?

Despite the ease in working from home, the team indicated that there are challenges such as;

  • Home environment creates a comfort to make one want to relax a bit
  • Distractions from family members
  • Being unable to get second opinion on certain issues from fellow colleagues especially in urgent matters and they are not reachable or responding faster
  • Power outages and poor internet connections which affects the work schedules as opposed to the office where there is a standby generator.

3. What do you love most with working from home?

The team had the following to say about this:

  • Time management thanks to the systems in place
  • Working from home is more comfortable
  • “I don’t get to spend any time in traffic”
  • Peace of mind for being able to keep an eye on the children.
  • “I can run my most urgent errands and still cover for lost time”.
  • Flexibility of working hours.

4. What would change if you go back to the office?

Majority of the team members noted that nothing much will change in case they are asked to go back to working from office.

5. If you were to choose, where would you prefer to work?

Concerning this, there was a 50/50% response where we had equal responses showing that we are ok with working either from home or office.

6. How is your family taking this (working from home)?

Majority of the team members indicate great support from their family members and those with children indicated that they are intrigued and thrilled to have their parents at home.

7. How has your expenses been? compared to when you worked from office?

Working from home does not require on to commute, buy lunch from the restaurant etc. therefore as indicate by all team members, there has been reduced expenses on their part. In addition, due to healthy eating from home cooked food, there has been reduced illnesses hence reduced medical expenses as well.

In conclusion, working from home seems to be manageable for most people except for cases where there are site visits to be done. For our company, delivery by majority of the team members has been tremendous and they have been effective in ensuring tasks are completed on time.

The COVID-19 situation has come with a lot of challenges, people have had to handle them differently and organizations should find a way forward to ensure that staff do not lose their jobs.