The Covid-19 pandemic has ushered a new working pattern for a lot of corporate people who are used to the physical office space. With the pandemic yet to be over, so many offices especially private owned businesses are yet to open fully. One of such organizations is the headquarters of many banks in Lagos. According a staff working at the head office of a prominent bank, he said the reason why they have not opened is that if the government discovers that one person has contracted the virus, the whole headquarters will be shut down. There is less than 200 staff working in the headquarters presently in a building that accommodates over 1500 staff.
Working virtually comes with its own advantages as well as disadvantages especially in a city like Lagos where the business mentality is not just demanding but also highly competitive. One of the advantages of working from home or virtually is working in a less tensed environment. Another advantage is that you can be involved in other things that are not really work related if you have your time planned and take a nap when you are tired without anyone monitoring you that you are sleeping on duty. Working virtual takes away the stress of sitting in long traffic jams especially when you are working on the Island especially the third mainland bridge closed. No more waking up as early as 4am or leaving your house by 5am so as to beat traffic.
Despite the above advantages, a lot of those who have been working virtually for the past five months are complaining because of stress attached to it. One of such is the fact that there is no closing time any more. One banker said working from home is a big SCAM as he shuts down for the day by 2 a.m on a daily basis and resumes as early as 6:30am. He hardly sleeps well. He said the number of virtual meetings he has attended is so more than the physical meetings he attended physically in two years. He said when he asked all his other colleagues in the different companies, the complaints were the same. “The reports and analysis are just pouring in whether it is important or not. The organizations are just taking advantage of them because they know people are scared of being seen as liabilities than access” he concluded.
Most of those who work virtually complained of eyes and ear pains. And the longer they sit on their laptops and desktops the more their shoulders hurt. One of the issues they also suffer is not having the opportunity to walk around as they would in the office when they move from one office to another in the process of working. There are also distractions from children, neighbors etc and according to one software tester, his kids now see him as a monster because he has locked them out of his room and no longer plays with them as usual.
The problem is that most of these virtual workers are scared of the unknown. If it is giving you serious health and family concerns, it is best you speak to your Superiors and see how to work out modalities for productivity and healthy lifestyle. For you to avoid serious health issues due to virtual working, you must create a working schedule that replicates how you would work originally in the office. Create a resumption time and closing time. The work never ends so why stress yourself to the point of breaking down trying to do everything at once. Also create break periods so that you can stay off the computer systems to avoid hurting your eyes and shoulders. For every one hour, take a ten minutes break. Walk around a lot by creating the kind of movements you do in the physical space. Always eat well and drink lots of water.
Do not allow the work to eat into family time. Spend valuable time with friends and family especially on weekends. You need to unwind to prepare you for productivity. Have this at the back of your mind, if you suffer a nervous breakdown or any damage to the extent that you cannot work anymore, you will be replaced faster than you expect.
The work never ends.
Photo Credit: Dreamtime