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Holding thumbs for Level 1 of Lockdown
By Olefile Moea, Executive Director, Fairheads Benefit Services
As a country, we have cause to celebrate the move to Level 1 of the COVID-19 Lockdown from 1 October. We sincerely hope that South Africa does not experience a second wave of the virus such as is sadly the case in many Northern Hemisphere countries.
And so in the spirit of celebration for our Lockdown progress, this Administrator’s Corner is lighter-hearted than the usual column. Although many company employees continue to work from home (WFH) we give a few tips in best practice to those for whom it is ‘return to work’ (RTW).
Moving from WFH to RTW requires a huge mental shift we know but even the ‘new normal’ had to be normalised at some stage. So, although you might experience some relief, there may be some dread as well. We recommend a special therapy session to prepare you to return with a positive attitude.
It’s time to hang that dressing gown up in the wardrobe and power dress once again. Hopefully you won’t have put on too much weight during Lockdown and can still wear your office best. If not – and like for most of us, money is tight - best you scour a few high-end vintage stores to get some quality gear at good bargains.
Definitely also invest in as many suit-matching masks as you can – the design should not be too outrageous but enough to make a statement.
Yes, you hopefully survived the proximity, the homework and the household vibe. It has been tough, we know. But now it’s time to hand over as much as you can to teachers or, if your kids are still studying from home, get in help or grandparents to supervise. Your kids will still love you.
The office water cooler
You may only now realise how much you have missed the gossip, the conviviality and the inevitable office politics. Embrace it all! But there are few best-practice points to bear in mind:
Talk about the interesting business books you’ve read and how many TED talks you’ve listened to.
Talk about how you handled the online meetings without a glitch (you want to come across as IT-savvy and able to cope without the office IT department).
Say how your productivity increased (especially when your boss is within earshot).
Talk about the dogs barking or toddler crying while you were online.
Talk about family tensions and politics – your colleagues are truly not interested.
Yawn when your colleagues do talk about 2) above but try to listen attentively - and don’t offer advice.
Be tempted to take all your leave to escape from RTW and return to WFH.