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The Lockdown Diaries by Veena Paul

Working remotely is not a new concept to me as in my previous jobs I have worked remotely so I do have the discipline it takes to follow a proper workload schedule and adhere to it and not to get easily distracted.

However what makes it all so different now is working remotely and not having a choice of being able to go into the office should I be required to or want to, I am totally cut off from my colleagues working in total isolation, there is no longer visibility of my colleagues, there is no longer healthy interaction and collaboration and I do miss the human element that an office environment provides.

Having said that however and despite missing that human contact I am coping well and I have taken additional steps to ensure that I am always able to work remotely such as upgrading my home internet so that I have unlimited data at my disposal and I ensure that I put in the hours as I would ordinarily as I would if I had been working from the office , at the

end of the day the accountability is on me to ensure continuity of my role and I have to be able to justify within myself earning a salary through this period . If anything I think I push myself even more so now than ever before as these are very uncertain times and I do all I can to keep myself motivated and of a positive frame of mind and what better way to do this other than immersing oneself and keeping busy and continuing to do the things that I am passionate about .

I find that I am able to be more productive and accomplish more work as there are no distractions. My accountability has not changed at all as I still hold myself accountable for the tasks I am responsible for and continue to fulfil my role to the best of ability in this lockdown period, I say best of my ability as some of my functions / role in the company

cannot be fulfilled, I cannot attend industry events, seminars, meetings and so on and this turn of events is beyond my control.

Yes this lockdown has certainly affected my professional goals tremendously, orchestrating face-to-face meetings with potential and existing clients as a means of securing new projects, setting up and attending networking events, conferences seminars and other industry related events is an impossibility at this time. This has a direct negative impact on my ability to achieve my goals but I am upscaling other areas of my portfolio to attempt to balance out this negative impact by means of connecting with and maintaining visibility with people relevant to our business by alternative ways such as LINKEDIN, Facebook, and email correspondence and so on.

The construction industry has been particularly hard hit as a result of projects being shut down or put on hold and this comes on top of enormous challenges in a difficult economic climate that the industry had already been facing prior to lockdown. We are treading in unchartered waters currently and there is no precedence to refer to, the government has the unenviable task of weighing the cost of lives saved through lockdown against the further decline or inevitable crash of our economy which was already in recession prior to COVID-19.

I do have hope despite everything that is going on that the construction industry will be revived and from this contagion has also risen the opportunity to relook at our current healthcare infrastructure, I see more hospitals and clinics being built, I see an increase in the development of low-cost housing for the homeless, I see more infrastructure being put in place by our government to encourage and support local manufacturers of raw materials for the construction industry.

YES the way forward will definitely change, life will never be the same again but mankind’s will to survive will be our saving grace, whatever the new normal is going to be WE WILL EMBRACE IT AND MAKE IT WORK

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