If there is something to be taken from the experience of the pandemic, it is that there is always an alternative to every situation and South African’s have shown how creative they are in accessing alternatives. With the advent of the nationwide lock-down, many workplaces found themselves seeking and implementing a variety of alternatives in order to ensure ongoing productivity and at times in compliance with Governmental Regulations. However, being taken out of our comfort zones, may have contributed to your own personal lives and also to the work environment.
Those companies that had not implemented the option of working from home prior to lock-down, had to ensure that the process of moving from working from the office, to working from home happened as swiftly as possible in under a week! There were many challenges, however these challenges also nudged those companies and organisations that could, to be flexible where it was necessary and/or possible. This flexibility helped companies remain afloat while operating under lock-down regulations, which helped employees retain jobs. It has in addition been a catalyst in the home environment, by providing some wiggle room for those who have domestic requirements. This has had the added benefit, where employees have become more productive than they were at the office.
In order to control the number of employees permitted on the premises, ‘flexi-time’ schedules had to be implemented by companies or organisations. During the span of the pandemic, this can continue to assist in curbing the spread of the virus. However, the arrangement can be carried through post COVID-19. Due to the busy pace which characterises our lives, we are constantly trying to find a work-life balance that will suite our personal lives while ensuring maximum productivity. Flexitime can assist employees in achieving this. These changes to work routines, have helped employers experiment with the various alternatives and enable all parties to determine those that work and those that don’t. This has helped both employers and employees as to which work arrangements work best for all, as well as which departments and people can and are able to operate remotely or not.
The pandemic has pushed South Africans into a financial corner, and the need to tighten our belts has become more prominent. Finding ways to save money has become one of the main priorities, and it has inadvertently indicated that there are some money wasting habits that we need to rid ourselves of, and develop new ones. Evaluating policies and proof reading those terms and conditions that we would usually skim through, reviewing credit card debt, returning items and getting something smaller, cheaper or more versatile, and creating a budget when going grocery shopping are principles that can be used post COVID-19. Our recreational options have also been limited as a result of lock-down regulations, in turn saving us a pretty penny. This has also required us to be creative or even go back to basics and allowed us to find alternative recreational activities, and has also brought families closer together.
Humans are creatures of habit, which would explain why we settle into tendencies or practices that are familiar, seem comfortable or easier, even though when scrutinised they might not be the best or might even cost us more. These “newly acquired habits” that we have had to adjust/turn to, have always been available, but they may not have seemed lucrative because they required some effort or adjustment on our part, but they do work and that has been proven. The changes may have been brought on by the pandemic, but may continue to be beneficial long past the pandemic and it effects. Although the pandemic has generally had a negative impact on most of our lives, as we move to level two of the lock-down, we should take the time to ponder on the silver lining in the grey cloud of COVID-19.
“You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
― Roy T. Bennett