By Andrew Bourne, Regional Manager, Africa, Zoho Corporation
The past few months have put organisations around the globe under unprecedented pressure. Few have been spared the economic fallout, with many unable to survive. Others have had to downscale and even those operating at full capacity have quickly had to adapt to new ways of working.
Offices that were used to having everyone onsite suddenly had to deal with fully remote teams. And even as people slowly come back into the workplace, it’s far from business as usual. All of these changes, in combination with the ongoing pandemic, have put employees under incredible strain.
As organisations move beyond the measures needed for short term survival, they should return to focusing on employee wellness and engagement. Here are four simple steps they can take in doing so.
Train your senior and mid-level management
The significance of effective communication during a crisis is obvious. What is even more important is ensuring that the right parties are equipped with the right skills. In any organisation, middle management is largely responsible for making employees feel truly valued. During periods of high anxiety, employees will appreciate team managers who are empathetic and practice clear communication.
As much as managers need to be accessible and reliable, they should also refrain from overdoing it and remember to give people space. As employees get accustomed to novel working conditions, it’s important to be sensitive to their mental well-being and offer routine flexibility. Another key consideration to keep in mind is to avoid micromanagement at all costs and trust your remote workers.
Design wellness programmes
Just as workplace premises include facilities like coffee stations or playrooms to help employees unwind and re-energise themselves, stay-at-home policies should also carry an equivalent. With physical activity taking the hardest knock in the daily routine, healthy lifestyle choices are imperative. Think about introducing provisions like corporate access to online workout classes, yoga, and meditation programs to help people stay physically and mentally healthy.
The absence of a workstation at home means employees can end up lounging wherever they find space. Another option is to provide one-time allowance packages that enable employees to set up an ergonomically correct home office and avoid spinal distress.
Educate your talent
Now is the time to take a step back and reflect on your business goals. Take a good look at the evolving business environment, identify the technologies that will make a real difference, and build up your employees’ skills accordingly. You should, for instance, consider establishing an in-house Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Machine Learning (ML) division if your business is exposed to large amounts of data. Doing so will equip your employees with a deep sense of AI/ML technologies and save you from having to outsource.
With every economic crisis, enterprises have experienced similar levels of unpredictability. Thoughtful leaders have, however, been able to adapt and rebuild their businesses to stand the test of time.
Keep up the team spirit
Loss of social interaction can leave people feeling disconnected and subsequently negatively impact morale. Keep your team connected by encouraging monthly or weekly online team bonding activities, such as virtual Wednesday lunches that allow for non-work discussions.
Another idea is to suggest employees team up and participate in open competitions, such as virtual hackathons or exercise challenges. Such public activities are an added opportunity for remote teams to showcase their skills and present ideas that can create a social impact.
While the concept of remote work has been around globally since the 1970s, most companies have only recently embraced the model as part of their Covid-19 response. This unexpected shift was a huge culture shock for many employees. As they reel under the effect and rethink their priorities, how businesses take care of their workforce now will determine whether employees decide to stick with their current employer in the post-pandemic era.
NCC, Digital Encode Support NITRA Innovative Tech Forum On Post-COVID-19 Strategies
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria’s telecommunications regulator and Digital Encode, Cybersecurity and Compliance advisory company, have indicated interest to partner with the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA), the national umbrella body of ICT reporters, as it organizes a forum that will x-ray the industry’s future plans for ICT growth post pandemic era.
The event, slated to hold on October 15, 2020, will seek to discuss the needs for a fortified ICT sector after the COVID-19 era, and the level of preparedness of ICT stakeholders to embrace the challenge of being pivotal to the stability and growth of all other sectors.
A statement from NITRA National Secretariat in Lagos indicates that due to the pandemic and need to observe the COVID-19 protocol on social distancing, the event will be held via a Webinar.
This year’s theme, “Multi-stakeholder Approach To National Recovery Post-Pandemic”, is in line with the annual event’s generic theme, ‘NITRA Innovative Tech Forum’, a contribution by NITRA to the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) innovations and policies in Nigeria.
Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, NCC is expected to deliver the keynote speech at the event and will throw more light on Federal Government’s plans, programmes and policies on post-pandemic strategies using ICT.
Dr. Adewale Obadare and Dr. Seyi Akindeinde, founders of Digital Encode, while accepting to support the event expressed their readiness to offer their expertise in Cybersecurity for organisations to prepare against cyber- attacks with the new normal.
They will also highlight areas that are high risks that need fortification in terms of cybersecurity.
Speaking on the event, Mr. Chike Onwuegbuchi, national chairman, NITRA, noted that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave its negative trails across the globe, economic reboot for countries will not only depend on how well they readapt to the new normal, but also more on their recovery plans.
According to him: “While the federal government has consistently expressed its willingness to set all policies in place to engender growth, and accelerated implementation of these policies, private sector firms have also shown great hunger for the task ahead in post-COVID-19 era.
However, the question that needs to be answered is whether all stakeholders are ready for the required task ahead.”
The event will also offer participating companies opportunities to publicize some of their individual efforts at contributing to reacting a soft landing or lifeline for SMEs and other ancillary companies as the pandemic threatens their survival.
Digital Encode is a multi-award winning and leading consulting and integration firm that specializes in the design, management, and security of business-critical networks, telecommunications environments and other Information Technology (IT) infrastructures.
NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution
Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has warned telecom consumers to desist from using illegal GSM boosters.
The commission also said that anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.
GSM boosters are devices that transmit and receive telecommunications signals and can therefore interfere with other radio frequency equipment.
Ikechukwu Adinde, director, public affairs, NCC, said in a notice published on NCC website, that only licensed network operators are allowed to use GSM boosters.
The booster, also known as amplifier or repeater is made up of three main elements – exterior antenna, amplifier, and interior antenna.
They form a wireless system to boost cellular reception
“Members of the public should note that, willful interference with any wireless telegraphy is an offence under Section 16 of the Telegraphy Act, 2004,”it said
The agency said it will not condone any flagrant breach of this law.
It has also enforced measures to prosecute offenders.
Accordingly, monitoring mechanisms have been put in place and anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.
“Any member of the public with useful information regarding the illegal use of GSM Boosters should contact the Commission on 09-4617000/7351 or send an email to [email protected],” the notice said.
“Individuals desirous of using GSM Boosters should note that they can only do so in conjunction with licensed network operators,” it added.
Tizeti Selects Nokia to Provide LTE Fixed Wireless Access Solution for High-Speed internet Services in Nigeria
Tizeti announced that it selected Nokia’s Fastmile Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology to enable usprovide superior internet services to over 1 Million subscribers in Port Harcourt, Edo and Ogun in Nigeria.
Tizeti will deploy Nokia’s AirScale Base Station TDD-LTE and FastmileFixed Wireless Access (FWA) gatewaysto deliver premium internet and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services to Residential, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
The solution will also enable Tizeti’sto deliver a more robust, high-speedinternet service to subscribers and the flexibility to seamlessly evolve to 5G Fixed Wireless Access when needed.
Nokia’s FWA solution enables Tizeti to fast-track broadband access and provide a best-in-class broadband experience to its subscribers.
Nokia’sAirScale Base Stations ensure high-quality connectivity and coverage and enablesTizeti to evolve the network in line with customer demand.
Nokia’sFastmilegateways connect wirelessly to the existing network to createa fastbroadband connection and enhanced Wi-Fi experience in the home.
The Nokia Network Services Platform will help Tizeti to simplify operations and quickly respond to changing market demands.
Kendall Ananyi, Tizeti, said:“We are committed to providing the best-in-class network experience to our subscribers. We are confident that Nokia’s proven technology and expertise will help us differentiate our services based on quality. This a crucial project for us as it introduces LTE in our networks and allows us to bring new and innovative services to our subscribers.”
Eniola Balogun, Nokia, said:“We are thrilled to work with Tizeti on the initiative to upgrade their network to bring the latest products and services to its subscribers. Nokia Fastmile will help Tizeti to cost-effectively enhance the customer experience.
The project will also enable them to delight their subscribers by providing more reliable data services.
On the other hand, Tizeti will benefit by adding new revenue streams.”
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