As numbers of COVID19 cases rile up, more companies have been forced to close up and adopt a remote structure. While many companies are finding it hard to adopt a remote structure, some have perfectly blended into the current situation using tools like Slack, dropbox, zoom, and notion to navigate their work processes and manage team members.
The work from home policy is representing a major shift in the Nigerian work culture, as it means no more long commutes to work, or getting stuck in traffic, but more personal and family time. It is, however, an unfamiliar phase especially among the not so tech-savvy workers.
- Co-working spaces which are used by innovators, founders, and entrepreneurs as an alternative place to work, have seen a dramatic increase in its usage since its inception a few years back. There have been enterprise employees who want a flexible working environment and teams using it as their on-demand meeting room.
As restrictions on movement take hold across the country, coworking spaces have been forced to become non-existent too – these spaces have become ghost towns. Unlike traditional offices, coworking spaces afforded workers and startups an opportunity to rent a shared working space without the weight of upfront full payments.
In fact, according to research, one of the reasons people co-work is solely for the combination of a well-designed work environment and a well-curated work experience. However, with the lingering fear of the pandemic going on for many more months, working patterns may fundamentally change in ways that are not good for the business model of coworking spaces.
The future is uncertain, and another arraigns of concern are if the current situation taking the world aback is it the death of coworking spaces? The recent lockdown has led many working spaces to close up, although it is a short-term convenience, there is also an economic disadvantage.
Co-creation Hub, Passion Incubator and several other hubs in the Nigeria’s tech capital city of Lagos, have shut down to abide by the directives of the government. For many, the coworking space model afforded them more control of their time more than working from home, and it felt like they were part of a community. With the COVID-19 pandemic and the government increasingly enforcing social distancing, the idea behind coworking is being threatened.
However, threat of the continuity of co-working spaces has gone beyond the risk of losing revenue to COVID-19-neccessitated lockdown, it is in the possible outcome of people and startups getting used to working from home and losing interest in coworking spaces. As working from home has its limitations, so would co-working after the COVID-19 crisis, but it hardly looks like a model that would fade:
- Coworking spaces don’t only serve the need of remote workers but provide a crucial structure for startups and new businesses would consistently emerge. Coworking spaces will always remain a cushion to support the operations of startups and innovators who are at their idea stage and will still see the need of the model to minimize costs.
(READ MORE: Businesses most affected by COVID-19 outbreak)
- Being part of a community never goes out of fashion. The combination of a well-designed work space and a well-curated work experience are reasons people co-work. Social networking and local connections with others are a big reason why people will still pay to work in a communal space. Although interactions are not compulsory, a coworking space can give such options for people who wish to interact and for those who don’t want to.
- Unlike traditional working spaces, people choose coworking spaces because there is little direct competition or internal politics. There is no need to put up a work persona to fit in, rather they get to work among others in a range of different fields, ventures and projects. So, the coworking space model will still thrive because it offers a collaborative space. It will increasingly be relevant for a broader range of people from freelancers, entrepreneurs and the tech industry, who collaborate on projects.
- Coworking spaces afford workers the opportunity to have autonomy and equally enjoy a form of structure while working from home may give workers too much independence and can actually cripple productivity since there is always the possibility of a lack of routine.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 24th of February 2021, 655 new confirmed cases and 11 deaths were recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 153,842 confirmed cases.
On the 24th of February 2021, 655 new confirmed cases and 11 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.
To date, 153,842 cases have been confirmed, 130,818 cases have been discharged and 1,885 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 1.49 million tests have been carried out as of February 24th, 2021 compared to 1.44 million tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 24th February 2021,
- Total Number of Cases – 153,842
- Total Number Discharged – 130,818
- Total Deaths – 1,885
- Total Tests Carried out – 1,489,103
According to the NCDC, the 655 new cases are reported from 21 states- Lagos (240), Ogun (88), Rivers (56), FCT (51), Kaduna (43), Kano (25), Plateau (21), Taraba (19), Edo (17), Abia (15), Delta (13), Nasarawa (11), Akwa Ibom (10), Kwara (10), Oyo (10), Kebbi (9), Borno (5), Bayelsa (4), Gombe (4), Ekiti (2), and Osun (2).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 55,122, followed by Abuja (19,115), Plateau (8,854), Kaduna (8,422), Oyo (6,708), Rivers (6,398), Edo (4,491), Ogun (4,277), Kano (3,716), Ondo (2,944), Kwara (2,875), Delta (2,539), Osun (2,326), Nasarawa (2,208), Gombe (2,031), Katsina (2,029), Enugu (1,998), Ebonyi (1,839), Anambra (1,615), and Abia (1,487).
Imo State has recorded 1,440 cases, Akwa Ibom (1,439), Borno (1,247), Bauchi (1,221), Benue (1,188), Niger (912), Ekiti (797), Sokoto (768), Bayelsa (767), Adamawa (762), Taraba (712), Jigawa (496), Kebbi (358), Yobe (268), Cross River (267), Zamfara (219), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State announced the closed down of the Eti-Osa Isolation Centre, with effect from Friday, 31st July 2020. He also mentioned that the Agidingbi Isolation Centre would also be closed and the patients relocated to a large capacity centre.
Due to the increased number of covid-19 cases in Nigeria, the Nigerian government ordered the reopening of Isolation and treatment centres in the country on Thursday, 10th December 2020.
On 26th January 2021, the Federal Government announced the extension of the guidelines of phase 3 of the eased lockdown by one month following the rising cases of the coronavirus disease in the country and the expiration of phase 3 of the eased lockdown.
More Nigerians don’t trust government, fear losing jobs more than COVID-19 – Report
The 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer has revealed that Nigerians trust NGOs, businesses more than they trust the government.
A recent survey has revealed that only 24% of Nigerians have trust in the government which is one of the lowest rates in the world. The report also stated that Nigerians have more fear of job losses than Covid-19.
The was revealed in the 21st Edelman Trust Barometer Survey Report on Nigeria unveiled virtually by Edelman and its Exclusive Nigerian Affiliate, Chain Reactions Nigeria, in Lagos on Tuesday, 23 February 2021.
Presenting the 2021 Nigeria findings with the theme: ‘Pandemic’s Ongoing Impact on Trust’, CEO of Edelman Africa, Jordan Rittenberry, noted that Nigerians are looking to civil society organisations and businesses to assist the government in uplifting communities and driving positive change.
The 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer Report revealed that “out of the four institutions of government, business, media and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Nigerians trust civil society organisations the most, with businesses coming second.”
Highlights of the survey include:
- Most Nigerians expressed distrust for the media and returned the lowest trust quotient in the world for government with 24%.
- Nigerians overwhelmingly placed the highest Trust in their ‘employers’, and in the process revealed their expectations for CEOs and business leaders to be more pro-active in speaking out on societal issues (92%) and driving positive change (79%) rather than wait for government.
- Nigerians fear losing their jobs more than they fear coronavirus, with a high degree of vaccine hesitancy revealed, as only 26% expressed readiness to take the COVID-19 vaccine when made available.
Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant on Media to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said: “Distrust in government is not peculiar to Nigeria. However, the government does have the responsibility to up its game in communication, to demonstrate responsibility and responsiveness.”
Akande cited the acclaimed National Social Intervention Programmes, and the COVID-19 Survival Fund as some evidence of the Muhammadu Buhari administration’s unprecedented responsiveness to Nigerians.
In case you missed it
Nairametrics reported last month that only 68.8% of Nigerians believe Covid-19 is real. While 39.9% of Nigerians say they will take the vaccine, 63.3% are opposed to another lockdown, in a report by SBM Intel
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