As I wake up this morning, I wake up to the escalating panic of the effects of the Corona virus locally and globally.

A school in Johannesburg closed down this morning due the scare that one person may have the virus.

In the past few weeks, tourism is adversely affected by airlines canceling trips to China, visitors from affected countries being quarantined, conferences cancelled, musicians canceling their performances concerts and in certain instances this leading to international music concerts being cancelled, there is blood on the floor on major stock exchanges of around the world due to uncertainty of the impact of the virus.

Yesterday my friend and I went to a local pharmacy to buy hand-wipes and Dettol and only find that they are sold out in two pharmacies in two separate malls.

As JJ Tabane would say on his TV show: “It’s a mess, It’s baaad.

Some companies especially in the USA have declared a state of emergency due to the Coronavirus, and as result they are beginning to mandate that everyone works from home for the foreseeable future [~4 weeks at minimum].

JP Morgan asked thousands of employees to work from home.

Apple Inc encouraged employees to work from home if possible.

Microsoft has told employees in the Puget Sound region in Washington state and the San Francisco Bay Area to work from home until March 25.

Google has recommended that some 4,500 employees at offices in Washington work from home, if possible.

Amazon.com which employs 50,000 people in the Seattle/Bellevue area, is “recommending that employees who are able to work from home do so through the end of the month.”

Facebook Inc has told several thousand employees in Seattle to work from home “if they have a heightened health concern.”

Is it unwarranted panic or is it better to err on the side safety? I prefer to err on the side of caution.

As people take precautions and if nothing changes, companies encouraging their teams to work from home, I’m curious about 3 questions: 

  1. How productive is remote work going to be, especially for those working on projects/in roles that involve coordinating large teams?
  2. Is there going to be a visible difference in the productivity of people with kids vs. those without? [How will this even work for people with kids at home?]
  3. What tools are going to be most useful?

It promises to be a fascinating few work week period.

Here’s hoping that these measures help control the spread of the virus and cure is found soon.



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