So, a 21-day lock-down was announced for Malawi last night. Work from home is now inevitable for many workers.
Do our organisational setups and cultures allow for and encourage remote, collaborative working? Do our employees have the necessary skills and tools for such?
How ready is your team?
If your team has the ability to work remotely, good for you. Having the tools and the technology is one thing. Being mentally prepared is another.
– Self-discipline (the fridge is just 10 steps away. So is the bed!)
– Time management (knowing when to get up and turn off)
– Tech-savvy (no more Chimz from IT to show you how to attach a report)
– Communication skills (typing out your thoughts succinctly into an email)
The fact that you can’t meet physically makes it most likely that email will be your primary method of communication. But email tends to bring about challenges, two of them being
Being clear yet succinct
The need to be clear yet succinct in your communication. Important facts tend to get lost in the detail or never make it into the email at all. If you need to learn a new skill during the lockdown, effective communication should probably be one!
The right time to shoot off an email
The ability to realise the right time (or wrong time) to communicate. Shooting off business emails at 8 pm or on a Sunday morning has the ability to pull your recipient’s mind back to work mode when they have already called it a day or plan to enjoy the weekend with family. Modern email clients have scheduling options – familiarise yourself with that feature!
Enjoy your work from home. I hope this method of work will be an option post-Covid19 for those who can.