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One Tech News Writer has had the experience since 1999, and shares some of the learnings the field collected over the years. He says: “I was young and new to this whole working from home thing” One of the bad experiences they faced was lack of supervision, which led to finding themselves crushed under deadlines. The pressure led to these young, inexperienced homeworkers to start planning and scheduling their work, as well as disciplining themselves to stick to those schedules. This brought along the freedoms of working at one’s own pace; becoming exponentially more efficient in the comfort and solitude of the home office than being surrounded by others. There are no distractions, there are no meetings, and there are no office antics.

However, working from home isn't ideal for everyone. The truth of the matter is quite simple: Some people are self-motivators and can make the transition from working in a busy company to working in a quiet home office with ease. Others have a lot of trouble retaining their focus. Once the latter type of person is at home, the world is their oyster and…Laundry calls; Kids cry; Spouses interrupt; Games can be played ;Errands can be run; TV can be watched; Shopping needs to be done; and Pets want attention. Working from home requires a different level of concentration and dedication than when working within the confines of a company. You can't put everything off until the last week and get your work done with a modicum of success--you must schedule your work life and stick to it.

Indeed COVID-19 is changing how many people work.  None of us, in this generation, was prepared for this. Would such a work environment function for you? Maybe. Maybe not. Very soon--or even now--you're probably going to find out. We never thought that a pandemic would grip the world and cause tectonic shifts in how we live our lives. It's happening now due to the coronavirus, and many people will have to work from home. 

To some employees, this is a chance to prove to the powers that be that working from home is a legitimate option they can finally shine while working in their pajamas. For others, it's a rather frightening unknown. Not so much the "how," but the "can." It's not about technology we all have the technology to work from home. You have a computer? You can work from home. End of story.

The truth of the matter is the "can" is a bit more daunting than the "how." Sure you might need a new printer, a scanner, or some other piece of technology, but that's easily acquired. The big unknown is that most people don't know if they are capable of working from home if they have the personality, the ability to drown out distractions, or even demand of those they cohabitate with to give them the necessary space and time required to do their jobs. 

So, to those who are facing the prospect of working from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, give yourself a bit of time for adjustment. While you're adjusting, allow yourself to do things differently. Don't read a bunch of bullet point articles on how to work from home and call it a day, because what works for someone else might not work for you.  Develop your work environment based on your personality and your abilities, and you'll find yourself far more productive than you can imagine. Above all, be honest with yourself. In the end, you may find that working from home simply isn't for you; however, if working from home does suit you, play your music loud, wear your pajamas proud, and be productive.

SOURCE: Freelance Tech Writer – Jack Wallen

What are the rights in terms of self-quarantine? Do you get special leave, and what is special leave or does the leave come from sick leave?  
 
Generally speaking, for all intents and purposes, individuals on self-quarantine or self-isolation, remain employees. Whether they will be entitled to their salaries during such time, depends on the reason for being in self-quarantine or self-isolation. If the employer requires the employee to be in self-quarantine or self-isolation, ordinarily, they will be entitled to their salaries during this period. 
 
In terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, if the employee is sick and is therefore in self-quarantine or self-isolation, the employee should be entitled to sick leave for this period. However, the employee may be required to produce a medical certificate in this regard. If the employee’s sick leave is exhausted, the employer may place the employee on unpaid leave, or depending on the terms of the employment contract, tap into the employee’s annual leave.  

Click here for the full article.

In recent months, the novel coronavirus COVID-19 has emerged as a health challenge of international concern. As of this writing, there have been over 111, 350 confirmed cases of the disease, including over 3,890 deaths. In the US, there have been over 500 cases and 22 deaths.
 
Much is still unknown about COVID-19. It is clearly unnerving to have a novel coronavirus causing disease and death worldwide, and the scale of the outbreak in some places has been truly frightening. Yet, as new cases are reported, it is worth noting that there is reasonable epidemiologic doubt as to whether COVID-19 is as dangerous as some public comments have suggested. As with any public health challenge, it is important to keep COVID-19 in perspective, our response measured, guided by cutting-edge data and our best science. Having said this, any number of deaths is, of course, concerning, and it is undeniable that we are living in a moment of real anxiety.
 
Central to our collective task at this moment is to support the work of those who are charged with protecting the public’s health. It is with that in mind that we would do well to recognize and assist the federal and local health officials in charge of outbreak control, and ensure the conditions are in place to generate the science that can inform these efforts. 

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Read the e-newsletter here: Issue 697: The “Work-From-Home” experiences shared from all over the world

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