OPINION | Covid-19: Working from home - today’s notes

Working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic. (iStock)
Working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic. (iStock)

Remote working, agile working, or working from home, the next few weeks is set to challenge us all. It will test working relationships, romantic connections and inter-generational ones, writes Howard Feldman. 

It’s day minus two to lockdown and day six of from working at home. And here is my log. Realised this morning that it is nearly six days since my feet last saw a pair of shoes.

Beginning to miss the feeling that I hate.

Spent 15 minutes (that I will never get back), trying to decide if wearing shoes, when I never do when at home, makes me pretentious or focused.

No conclusion reached. Made a note to ponder this again tomorrow.  

Was asked to be the guest speaker at my daughter’s assembly this Friday (by my wife).

My son apparently was busy (something on Netflix he is watching), which means I am the second choice.

Need to find something inspirational to say to her.

Not easy when she rolls her 15-year-old eyes at everything that hints of depth.

On the bright side, home schooling due to to Corona means that she might even see a certificate that isn’t one for "Participation".

Will be her first. Not sure if it’s weird to photograph her receiving the award and to post it to social media.

Need to clean up the patio (where we are having the assembly) if I do want to photograph it, so will probably just leave it.  

Found out this morning that my son has anxiety. They say that I had been told this repeatedly over the past 10 years. Doesn’t ring any bells. I think I covered up my ignorance fairly well and that they didn’t catch on. 

But will probably find out later that I didn’t.  

Working from home means getting to know that your colleagues have children. Lots of them. All of them have names, and they all like to pop into Team meetings to demand more time on the iPad.

I had no idea how prolific people are nowadays. I thought there was meant to be a fertility crisis. Well, not according to my work video calls.

They all say that little kids, little problems, big kids big problems - but I have to say that the singular biggest advantage to having teenagers is that you don’t hear a sound when they roll their eyes.  

Working remotely also means that every communication with colleague and client alike requires action.

None of that passive "how are ya" at the coffee machine or the urinal will exempt you from reaching out.  It now requires thought, and either a phone call, WhatsApp message, Teams note, email or Zoom collaboration.  

And then there is the kitchen.

No one tells you just how close it is to your desk. If I were a betting man I would wager a six-pack of twin-ply that, on average, South Africans will add an average of 3kg per customer to their girth.

Weigh yourself Thursday night and tell me I am wrong.

I might even be too conservative. Some of us eat when we are bored. Others bake. And many of us live in the most dangerous homes of the lot.

Where this deadly combination lives is in the main bedroom.  

Call it what you will.

Remote working, agile working, or working from home, the next few weeks is set to challenge us all.

It will test working relationships, romantic connections and inter-generational ones.

With all this, the fact that there is a silent and dangerous killer on the loose just outside, is what I believe is just what we need to appreciate what we have and to make this a rewarding and positive confinement.  

- Howard Feldman is a keynote speaker and analyst. He is the author of three books and is the morning talk show host on ChaiFM.

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24

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