Impact of COVID-19 & how students should prepare for it.
Covid — 19 or Coronavirus came as a bolt from the blue and was very quickly declared a pandemic the world over.
Actually, the word Covid is so new that it is not even in the MS Word dictionary. You have to add to the dictionary. 😊
This pandemic, as well as the lockdown, will have many repercussions at a global and national level. What happens at the macro level is for the leaders to see but what happens to you guys at micro-level is more relevant here.
Primarily, it will change the way you work. Work from Home (WFH) may well become a new normal. In such a work culture the need to go to the office is limited.
Although not easy to adapt, we must also look at the advantages this will create.
a. Lesser commute time
b. Therefore, lesser stress
c. Saving on petrol
d. No need for bigger office space for companies
e. Possibility of working from a small city and saving on rent etc.
First and foremost, you’re joining the companies that may be deferred and even after the training is done, you will have to be prepared for doing at least some part now and major part later on WFH (Work from Home) basis. WFH will be the new buzzword.
Don’t get too excited because it may sound very easy but it is not. The amount of focus required is much more than what is required while working in the office.
Seeking help is not as easy as each one of you are isolated. You have to be disciplined and work exactly as per office schedule including your tea/lunch breaks. As I said, it is not easy and it entails a lot of preparation.
Let’s see some of the things you should do to Work from Home (WHF)
1. Set fixed working hours
2. Set aside a dedicated office space
3. Make people at home aware that you are working
4. Do ask for what you need from your employer
5. Always dress up formally to get a feel of being on the job
6. Use a VPN provided by your company
7. Participate actively in video conferences/meetings
8. Communicate as much as possible with your colleagues
9. Stay motivated
10. Keep a To-Do list for every day
11. Be collaborative
Secondly and equally important thing to be learned is attending video conferences/meetings with your boss and colleagues.
Here are some of the tips for mastering this new art
1. Agenda should be known in advance
2. Check video and internet connection
3. Pick up a bright spot so that your face can be seen properly
4. The background should be elegant
5. Dress appropriately
6. Join a little early
7. Keep your notes or talking points ready
8. Please send your notes to your colleagues in advance so that all are prepared
9. Check eye level otherwise it creates posture issues
10. See to it that your pets and family are not seen during this video call/meeting
11. Avoid background noise, such as a TV, mixer, etc.
In history, every now and then comes a paradigm shift. But we human beings have shown tremendous flexibility and adaptability to every new situation. What we take for granted today such as working on a PC/laptop and using the internet, was a new paradigm not too long ago. From traveling in trains as normal, we moved to flying as a new normal. Presently our entire lives are very technology-dependent. Anything goes wrong and our life comes to a standstill. Don’t we get upset when we don’t range for our mobile phones or the data is not working or the internet is down. Even our online shopping gets affected. The immediate challenge is strengthening our infrastructure vis-à-vis internet bandwidth to take this sudden and unexpected load. Also, service providers will have to ensure that there is minimal downtime. This may take a little time.
It is being hoped that this pandemic and the resultant lockdown has made us understand the difference between “want” and “need”. This will help our already overstretched environment. Remember Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? 😊
My best wishes to you guys to create a new normal, not only for working from home but understanding the difference between “want” and “need”.
Let me end with two quotes of encouragement:
“In the middle of every difficulty lies an opportunity.”
“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.“