Welcome to the first (and hopefully, only) issue of Hi-Tech Security Solutions that was put together in lockdown. I think the Chinese took their saying of “May you live in interesting times” a little too seriously.
This column is being written in lockdown long before the print issue gets to the printers. So, for those reading this in the print edition of Hi-Tech Security Solutions, we hope the lockdown is over and we are able to get back to business, while those reading this online or in the PDF or e-book format may still be stuck at home. The print issue, as you will notice, is rather small due to the nervousness pervading the business world, but the electronic editions will have more editorial that couldn’t fit into the print magazine – you will always find more online, but in this instance, a lot more.
But while uncertainty and fear are the norm these days amidst great, and valid concerns about the post-lockdown period in our and the world’s economy, one has to give the South African President and the Minister of Health credit for the way they demonstrated leadership and did what was necessary. What’s really sad is that strong leadership stands out as an anomaly in this country.
Of course, there are those who say the lockdown was not necessary, but something had to be done with the information at hand and the lockdown was the best option out of a bunch of bad and worse choices. The real challenges still lie ahead as lockdown ends, or is extended.
One of the interesting things that I noticed during this period is how unprepared people and companies were for working at home. Issues of connectivity and security abound. Many people seem lost without someone looking over their shoulder, while some managers who spend their time ‘shoulder surfing’ have found themselves at a loss when they couldn’t do that anymore. It comes down to managing by looking out of your office and seeing people sitting at their desks in the belief that presence equates to productivity; or managing by the value people add by what they do. I guess the latter is harder to determine if you don’t have set processes in place. Some may say the latter is harder if you’re a bad manager, but I would never suggest that.
Of course, that only applies to those who were able to work from home. Many were simply sent home on forced leave or unpaid leave, which is an even harder burden for them to bear. And then there are those who were sent home without a job, the worst scenario of all.
In any case, let’s hope things get back on track quickly and the potential human tragedy of the coronavirus can be avoided as much as possible. Hi-Tech Security Solutions wishes all our readers, suppliers and partners, as well as our colleagues, health and sanity during these fearful times, wherever in the world you may be.
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