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An associate's view of a lockdown
Remote Work

An associate's view of a lockdown

Bushra Siddiqui
July 20, 2023

18,172 - no these are not the number of new cases reported of Covid-19 but the search volume of "Lockdown" in the past 15 days.

We are all steering this new normal differently. Some are in the state of panic and fear whereas some are considering it as an inhibition to their freedom. Amidst all this, we are thrown into the new self-check of running offices at home, schooling children from the dinner table and guess what? We are acing it already!

Imagine you are working from home and end up discovering gravity. Einstein did it. And you can too!

I’ve been working for the past three years but now in lockdown for the past two weeks, it will sound dreamy if I’d say it was love at first sight. I was confused, searching for a light at the end of the tunnel but now I’m at peace with the pace. 

On a busy Tuesday morning, my mother came in and sat beside me, peeping into the screen asking about what tasks are involved in my daily routine and why do I dance between different screens.

At first, I was a bit ignorant but after getting the look I explained everything to her, logged in my peopleHum’s account, took her through profiles of my associates, my leader I also introduced her to my workspace with a quick video link since then there’s an extra precaution when I’m in the room and my glass of milk is now handy to me.

I have heard colleagues panicking on messages, friends concerned about their job shift already and people worrying if they are the next slacker in their team. Life has its own way to show you the mirror so here I’ll share a post on LinkedIn which I recently came across soon after the lockdown started.

There was this lady looking for a job. Considering the pandemic she had defined her top three skills on three slides:

  1. Acing adaptability
  2. Acing crisis- given an example of the 9/11
  3. Acing Leadership

To my surprise, she had 112 comments in 5 hours. It filled me with positivity and I took no longer than 5 seconds to tag my friends and directed them to that ray of hope and a bright end to their dark tunnel.

In this moment of panic, let’s not forget and be considerate about our fellow associates. I realized it on the third day of this lockdown, we had our weekly meeting and I saw my colleague frustrated and embarrassed as her kids were seen running errands in the background as she was trying to focus on the presentation in front of a group of fourteen. All of us understood her situation empathized and laughed it off at the end, later I realized such situations can be really exhausting. I just wanted to check up on her on which she said they had been trying to handle situations at home since day one and now everything seemed to be under control.

With more women in the US workforce, dual-income families have 66 percent of families with children under 18 brought home two paychecks, up from 49 percent in 1979 amidst of the lockdown spouses are sharing home offices and meme world is making rounds on an invisible colleague on social media.

Leaders are also human. Let’s all not only assume but deliver communication as the key, and keep in mind that your leader might be experiencing managing a team for the first time remotely. Let’s rely on the tool and embrace technology try creating groups on chatHum and discuss out a task on which you had been stuck on for the past 45 minutes.

I am here not to give you a to-do list to ace your lockdown but just to remind you to believe in yourself. Take up the online course that you wanted to, open your heart and mind to your family that you wanted to, clean the closet which had been a mystery for the past 14 months and thank the universe that you are fortunately working when half of the world is thinking if they’ll even have their next meal.

As Jason Averbook stated, "We’ve been now pushed into the future of the workforce- let’s respond to this wake-up call."

Let’s rise as a phoenix from the ashes, and realize the future is now.

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