I spent the whole of my 2019 working from home. Yup, I never sat at an office desk the whole of last year. Working remotely in Nigeria may sound like luxury or enjoyment to some people but one thing I can tell you for a fact- it is hard!
Given the recent happenings around the world these past few months- the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease, a lot of companies have been forced to let their staff start working remotely in Nigeria. My office took a very proactive approach and decided to let us work remotely since the 17th of March.
Some states in Nigeria are currently in total lockdown meaning the option of moving around is no longer available. During my three weeks of actively working from home, these are some of the things I’ve enjoyed and also suffered.
Let’s start with the Highs:
Imagine not having to worry about what to wear to work. You can decide it’s a “work in pyjamas” day or “work naked” day, Lol. In essence, working from home means doing your work in whatever outfit or corner of your house you feel the most comfortable in. And if you do not want to work from home, you can pick any nice space around you to use as your office for the day.
Not trying to speak for everyone but I think working from home significantly increases productivity. I live alone so there’s no one to distract me. I pick the time I feel the most inspired to start my tasks and most of the time I finish them before the end of the day. You can’t do this at the office as you’re expected to get a lot done within working hours. And more often than not, this is regardless of how you feel.
Saves Commuting Cost and Time
If there is one thing I hate about going to the office, it’s dealing with public transport! Sometimes you can calculate the time it’ll take you to get to the office then those cab people will collectively put in effort to make you late. Don’t even get me started on how they pack people like sardines. By the time you get to work some days, you’ll be looking like someone that fought in a war before deciding to stop by the office.
Working from home eliminates all that stress and time wasting. You don’t have to spend money to get to work and you don’t have to deal with the delays from cab men.
Now to the Lows:
Power and Internet
These are the top issues with working remotely in Nigeria. The first week I started working from home, there was no power for four days straight! You can imagine how frustrating it was. It’s actually very difficult to pick out which is worse between internet and power supply in Nigeria. There was a day I was shuffling between these ISPs- Glo, MTN -and Ntel, yet I had to stroll outside my house to get better reception. There have been some improvement in both so far, but it could still be better.
If you’re like me then hearing your phone ring gives you anxiety sometimes. You will hardly hear my phone make any noise as it’s alway on “vibrate only”. This period however, I’ve been forced to turn on the sound because of constant calls and messages from my colleagues. Given the poor internet situation, it’s difficult to have conversations online too. It’s just a constant struggle with staying informed and communicating with teammates.
I think there’s this extra pressure to “deliver” when working from home. Sometimes, it makes me actually overwork myself. If I was going to the office, any task I’m unable to sort out before 5pm rolls over to the next day. But now? I lose track of time while working. It’s been really difficult trying to make sure I do not overcompensate for not being at the office.
One thing I definitely regret not doing before social distancing is setting up a workspace at home. I don’t even have chairs so I do all my work from my bed. I spend most of my time taking weird positions that cause some pains later. I’m definitely fixing this when everything is back to normal.
Today is day 21 of social distancing for me and I can say it’s been really good. I’ve adjusted well to working remotely and dealing with the challenges. At least with little to no activity going on outside, I do not have to deal with FOMO too.
How’s social distancing going for you? Can you relate to any these struggles? Are you actually working from home or this is a time off for you? Let’s talk in the comment section!
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Thanks for reading…love and light