In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has been forced to adapt daily routines due to lockdowns in respective countries. Almost everyone has had to adopt a new normal- staying at home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to prevent further spread of the virus. This means that schools and workplaces have shut down, as a result of this projects have been put on hold and most employees are working from home.
In Uganda, as per the President’s directives, for 32 days; schools and tertiary institutions were instructed to close, religious gatherings were suspended, political or cultural public meetings, rallies and conferences were banned for 32 days, including all outbound and inbound movements, public and private transportation and a 7pm curfew was implemented. All this and many more measures have been implemented in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.
For some, this time has been a great opportunity to bond with family, learn new skills, grow spiritually or take the much needed break they've been longing for, but couldn't get the time off to have. Everyone is finding the best way to deal with the worst time of their lives on a global scale.
Our Founder, Vanessa Atim asked some of our ProInterns Ambassadors a few questions about how they are coping amidst the pandemic. Their responses are encouraging and you might be able to pick up one or two things for yourself to do during this time.
How are you coping amidst COVID-19? What are you doing to stay active?
“Working from home is keeping me busy and I have also been taking online courses to gain more analytical skills. I enrolled in a Power BI course which is a powerful analytical tool. I am also studying a few programming languages like SQL and Python which are essential in the field of data science. These are all available on various MooC programs.” - Cynthia
“I have signed up with an online mentor who is teaching me writing skills. Over the years I have realised that there is a difference between the quality of my speech and that of my writing, so I am using this time to learn. I am also doing online campaigns on the social entrepreneurship approach to climate change and I also take two hours a day to read a book. (The Power of Habits)” - Immaculate
“I have been reading blogs from Quora and this has helped keep me busy.” - Evelyn
“I am learning more from the Bible, completing assignments and sending them online to supervisors (as I’m working from home), learning and actively doing house chores, learning a thing or two about business either through notes previously taken on YouTube and watching interviews. I have also helped my neighbour’s child with their holiday package.” - Bill Innocent
“Working remotely is nothing new for me, the only difference now is that I have to cover a wider audience. I now have to rely on information shared publicly about the COVID-19 cases and most of the social media posts are now around the same topic. In the meantime, I am also taking online classes in storytelling for change and environmental sustainability with Acumen, improving my craft skills and working on my potential business goals as well.” - Hilda Adur
What trends /effects do you foresee as a result of COVID-19?
“In regard to the trends after the pandemic is over, I think that most companies are going to embrace the concept of working from home which will mean that some of their staff may be laid off or hours may be cut down as a result.” - Evelyn
On hiring “I think that most companies will slow down on hiring new staff, unless there is a need for specialists in specific fields to fill in the current status quo.” - Patrick
The situation has also broken up concentration points that is work, schools, churches, and many more people have gone back to their households but have kept united as a global village through social media platforms and the Internet.” - Bill Innocent
“After this pandemic, I believe that there will be an increased demand for virtual assistants and businesses will now be able to provide administrative services to their clients remotely.” - Cynthia
“We all need to rethink the entire business delivery system because as you have noticed,the most impacted businesses are the localised ones but the online businesses are still operational. For example, online food and cosmetic orders and this has reduced the amount of time spent shopping and consequently reduced the spread of the virus. The Ugandan government should focus more on localising and subsiding Internet access and providing some kind of support to online businesses because most of the available employment opportunities will now be mainly in this sector.” Allan
What have you learnt so far?
“I have quickly learnt the importance of preparation for any emergency. Before all of this, we didn't have to worry about food security or health care insurance and made more short term plans. This has opened my eyes to the need for preparation for the worst case scenario and I've also appreciated the importance of technology and the Internet. In the banking sector, we have encouraged our customers to use our online and mobile platforms to curb the spread of the disease. So for me, this had been both a good and bad situation.” - Joseph
“I have continued to work as usual, the only difference being that I am now doing it from home. It has been quite tough on our company following the big numbers of employees that need to continue working from home and the overall online security to access company systems from home. I think that this is an opportunity for all companies to plan effectively when it comes to Business Continuity Planning (BCP) and coping with crisis, not forgetting strategies on how to remain relevant and supportive to their target audiences.
We also need to think of food security; how do we ensure food security during such times as production will most probably be negatively impacted. - Allan
“In regards to the economy, this situation has given many people time to reflect and see how they can get themselves involved in the food equation, especially if it's online.
There is also a need to revisit how we do work. Managers can now embrace technology more and this will change how we view work; whether employers still want to pay for man-hours or pay on output. They now have the liberty to decide if the number of days (present at work) in a month is a factor to consider during appraisals.” - Bill
We hope that the ideas shared above will help you give you an insight on how to best utilise your time during the lockdown and if you're a business owner, that we have helped give you a few things to think about and plan ahead for your business.
How are you coping with the current pandemic? How is this affecting your work productivity?
Remember: Stay home, wash your hands and observe social distancing - we're in this together!
Written by Lynna Abaho, ProInterns Team Coordinator.
#ProTips #StayHome #StaySafe