In most developed countries, common people like us have homes with small families, dogs, tables, computers, Internet connectivity, electricity, and the network is good. Working remotely is not starting with COVI-19. It has been happening.

The Kenyan situation is different. Most workers hawk their wares, are cleaners or watchmen, account clerks, and farmers. They live in shared places that are sitting places during the day and bedrooms at night. The presumed home with computers and the Internet are fantasies beyond their imagination or if you wish, the “hustler” nation.

Ok. Assume there is a home of sorts. The majority are the young who need supervisory controls. Working at home means fancy dressing; beer parties and other social activities.

Babu Mutua with Patricia (standing) Wanjiku (right) and Kamari (left) “working from home”.

In any event, once the work is completed, the temptation to side hustle is very high. So, companies are likely to start paying salaries without realizing any incomes.

A survey contacted in June 2020 indicated that families have moved to quieter estates with more spacious homes. There is a significant addition to facilities such as power and internet connectivity, furniture, and equipment. In a way, the distance between the office and homes is evidently shorter. Hitherto confidential office information is extending to the families.

The video conferencing service, Zoom has registered a 350% increase in subscriber numbers in early 2020. A lot of people are adopting a variety of technological brands. The cloud offices! The benefits include no overheads, rent, and utilities. However, does this mean the end of the office?

The naysayers aver that offices will soon be empty, rents will plummet, company cultures will fade, and face to face meetings will fade into the annuls of history. These are part of the new normal. However, there is evidence that it is iota better or worse than the yester or future normal. It’s just a new quo that is akin to the African lives before the colonialists and it might just work better than the “Mzungu” normal.

It is unfathomable that companies want to burn social capital at the expense of machines, destroy teamwork, destroy innovation and sharing of ideas. The value of companies is going to suffer. Let us agree, you need to see that worker. That worker needs to see you. The human contact cannot be destroyed. The purpose in life is more than getting some things done or generating some money. Life must be shared; lived.

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