How To Work From Home Successfully Despite The Nigerian Factor
A lot of us have been put in the remote work mode. For some, it’s a whole new world. While for others, it isn’t exactly a new terrain. Knowing how to work from home depends on certain factors. There are some that are within your control, while you have to learn to tackle the others. But in the end, where there’s a will, there’s a way and there’s no stopping you.
Two moms tell us how they’ve been able to manage to work from home successfully. We hope that this will encourage you and help you adapt more easily to remote work.
How to work from home: Temitayo shares her story
As someone who has worked from home for about ten years now, here are some useful tips from my experience.
Plan your Time: Now that your children are not in school, you do not have 8 am-4 pm to yourself, it is important that you plan to be effective, especially with them around. Working remotely takes a lot of discipline, and even more with other people around in a space, you occupied alone previously. So, what do you do?
You may have to re-do your work hours, to perhaps when the entire house is asleep.
If that is not possible, you learn to leave strict instructions, work with the noise around regardless. As I currently type, there is a looming noise from PJ Masks in the background…It is hard but we have to learn to adapt to what we have—desperate times, mean desperate measures.
Be Prepared: Yes, you read right. No, not the panic buying of toilet roll as seen in some countries. Since there are more mouths that need to eat, you will need to stock up on raw foodstuffs.
In addition to this, you need to be able to sort other needs like electricity, to ensure that your work continues, despite the lockdown. You all will be spending more time indoors, and you do not want to be out every time unless it is unavoidable. You also want to be sure that whenever you go out, you are not bringing any viruses back home. So, prepare a hygiene plan to stop the virus from getting through your door. This applies to you, and any visitors—if you are still hosting.
Being prepared is also mental preparation. You have to understand when you are getting emotionally drained and need to take time off before the stress takes its toll on you. So, prepare your mind for the journey ahead. It is likely a bumpy noise ride; strap yourself and get ready.
Technology to the Rescue: You cannot run away from technology now. You have to use it, for your work, to connect with other people remotely. You also may need its help to keep the children busy. There are several applications out there that can educate and entertain them while you try to get some things done.
Do not Panic: The best way to approach this situation that the whole world is struggling with—have you seen how it has sent the supposed First World countries scrambling up and down?— is not to panic. Panic is like the virus, it does not make things better but stays in your chest, making you helpless about a situation. Do not fear. Read up. Understand the virus more. Protect yourself. Does your baby have a cold or mild cough? See a doctor—be careful here—avoid large crowds. Even then, do not forget to protect them and yourself. Wash your hands properly with soap and water, every time, especially after coming out.
Have fun with it: It is hard to say but if you do not want boredom to get the best of everyone, this is the time to be inventive. Indoor games. Bedtime stories. Handcrafts. Have a healthy dose of hand and brain games.
It is also important to begin to distribute the chores in a fun way among everyone, especially considering that you likely no longer have childcare support.
Doing the dishes can be a “bubbling” time. Do not worry, you may rinse it again. Soon, your children will get a hang of some of these games—some will likely be messy—and you can keep them busy while you sneak away to get some work done!
Ebun works the corporate 9 -5 but she’s got the hang of how to work from home. Here’s her story
What you need: If you’re still going to be working with your office from home, you need a good Internet connection, a generator, ready fuel, secured apps, and a workspace (not your bedroom or kitchen or dining table). Above all, there has to be trust between company and employee as well as discipline.
Dealing with distractions: I like working in seclusion so I need a room. I close the door, pay for additional data to be on the safe side and inform everybody in the house that they shouldn’t disturb me unless it is not urgent. I’m very strict with my kids about this. Once I hear their request and it is not urgent, I turn them away and I don’t smile when doing it. If I have to scold, I do so.
Dealing with electricity supply and data: I also try to download heavy files I know I have to work with using office internet. and I pause syncing of files to the cloud. That helps me save data.
When we don’t have electricity supply from PHCN, I run on inverter then switch to the generator. I charge all the appliances that need charging while the generator is on. Then I work for some hours without the generator and pray that electricity gets restored soon.
To stay focused, I already have a to-do list and I have a calendar for meeting reminders. Of course, I have my cup of coffee.