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Do you want to work from home?, Here’s how or how not!

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4 Tips for People Working from Home

Many people find it frustrating to “waste” a lot of time in transportation as they go to work, especially if they spend more than 30 minutes on the way (let alone those who spend more than an hour!) Every day they tend to think that it would be better if they work from home. They imagine that life would be much easier if they wake up as usual, make themselves a cup of coffee, sit on the cozy couch, open their laptops, and start working in their pajamas! (Yes pajamas, for no clients or colleagues are going to see them anyway). It seems even more tempting for women as they won’t need to spend time wearing makeup or their veils on (for those who do), or even dress up, all the more tempting for mothers who would save the transportation time and do the cooking instead. In addition, they won’t have to make their children spend an extra hour in the nursery, or they won’t have to rush to pick them up from school, or from the school bus.

That would definitely be awesome! And life would be much easier as people would feel much less stressed than they normally do going to work on daily basis. The good news is that all this is true. Yes, you will be less stressed spending less time in the street with the horns, the traffic jam, and traffic fumes. And surely for not having to rush in the morning to sign in time, or to catch up with something at the end of the day either to have lunch with your family, or pick your children from school. Add to it, that you can add a little bit to your sleep, if you stayed up late the night before. Sigh! But if you have the opportunity or the will to work from home, you need to be well aware of the following measures:

  1. Avoid distractions:

Now that you don’t have your boss on top of your head, or no encouraging (or threatening!) work environment, you need to know that avoiding distractions is one of the most important rules to maintain your productivity, or even increase it. If you work from home, you have to turn off all kinds of distracting gadgets like the television, and make it clear to your family members that no one is allowed to interrupt you or ask you questions or favors while you are working. Because if you are working from home, it doesn’t mean that you are available whenever they need you (unless it is something very urgent of course). It would be better if you work in your room and lock it, if you have nagging or young siblings.

If you prefer to work at a café or somewhere outdoors, you should not tell your friends to stop and have a little chat or anything of the sort, or else the place where you work will turn into a gathering place for your friends!

Either ways you must turn off all kinds of social media websites or applications –it would be better to switch off your mobile data, work from the laptop without opening Facebook and similar sites.

  1. Set your working hours & daily schedule:

If your job is an hourly based one, then setting your working hours won’t pose a problem for you. The only thing you need to do is to be well aware of your working hours (either morning hours, or shifts, or even divided into sessions). Schedule your day according to your settled working hours. For example, if you work in shifts you should make sure to finish your meals and run your errands before the time starts, or if you work in sessions you should divide your meals, outings, running your errands before, in between, or after your work sessions depending on the things you should do and the time between each session.

If it is a task based job, then it will be your job to set your working hours and your daily schedule according to it. You have to be strict with yourself concerning those hours. Either you set them day to day depending on the tasks or once and for all. This will mean that you have to divide your meals according to your set working hours, and finish your other tasks or outings either before or after your working hours (not in between so as not to lose focus or get out of the mood unless it’s something urgent or that won’t take more than 15 minutes).

  1. Choose your zone:

If you will be working somewhere at home, it would be better if you have a desk to work on, or you can use the dining room table if you will be alone or at least “left alone”, or a table in the balcony if you are living in a quiet neighborhood. You are thinking of the couch? I would say you can use it so little if your back aches or something. The bed? It’s completely forbidden. Before you start either working at home or outdoors you need to set everything at hand: your materials, your music playlist, your laptop charger, your snack – better a healthy one of course – if you like to crunch something while working. Anything else you might need must also be prepared so as not to leave your nook every now and then.

If you are working outdoors try to choose the less visited and quiet cafés even if they don’t serve the best pasta in town, so that you don’t lose your focus.

  1. Take care of your psychological state

Actually the way your work affects your mood and psychological state is the most important of all. Because as much as we all yearn for decreasing the amount of stress in our lives as much as we are not ready to sacrifice other things in return. Like the feeling of achievement, socializing while sharing your working hours with some human company, going out and killing boredom. That’s why you need to be very careful when you choose to work from home to take the measures to ensure: your productivity, your scope for socializing, and maintaining your health. Concerning the productivity, we have spoken about setting your work hours and avoiding distractions and so on. As for socializing: if you work from home, it would be nice to work for one or two days per week somewhere outdoors so as to change the scenery and avoid boredom. You could also share your working hours and place with colleagues or friends working like you on one condition that you commit yourselves to not interrupting each other. Try to exercise also to compensate for the effort you used to exert going to work or back home every day and to boost your energy. So if you work at home, try to exercise between the sessions. If you go to a café ,try to go walking if the place is not that far.

Now, there are very few companies that allow their employees to work from home for one or two days per week. Hence, they work in the office for a maximum of three or four days. I believe this is one of the best advantages a company could offer its employees. Thus reducing the stress they are subjected to and offering a healthy work environment for almost half of the week!

By: Sara Mahmoud

Edited By: Salma Hanno

Photography: Mahmoud Mansi

Art: Ala’a Mohasseb

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Stevie Awards Winners’ Articles Series – Eng. Abeer Mahmoud Ramadna

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“Continuous Learning, adopting innovation & creativity and teamwork are among the guiding principles of success and excellence in the government sector” Eng. Abeer Mahmoud Ramadna

Winner Name: Eng.  Abeer Mahmoud Ramadna

Winner Title: Director Assistance for Control & Inspection for Economic Activities at Ministry of Industry & Trade in Jordan

Winning categories:

  1. The Gold Stevie Winner in the category “the most innovative Communications Professional of the year “
  2. The Silver Stevie Winner in the category “Innovation in Community Relations or public Services Communications”
  3. The Bronze Stevie Winner in the category “Innovative Management in Government – Organizations with 100 or more employees”
Brief Biography about the Winner:

Abeer Ramadna is the Director assistant of control and inspection unit at the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Supply (MIT) in Jordan, she has a Master Degree in Industrial Engineering- Engineering Administration / University of Jordan with “excellent degree”. Abeer has 20 years of experience in private and public sectors, and is a focal point for UNIDO at MIT in Jordan. Abeer is a certified Management development Expert from ITC/ Vienna in 2005, a certified Export Consultant to EU from CBI/Netherland in 2007, certified Lead Auditor for Quality Management ISO 9001:2015, a certified Engineer Expert in Quality and Environmental Management systems in 2018 and a certified EFQM Assessor from EFQM in 2019. Eng. Abeer has a wide professional expertise in many fields that allow her to provide consultations to the organizations in various fields including Quality Management, Environmental Management, preparing industrial polices, strategies and plans, Inspection polices, Monitoring & Evaluation systems, implementing the ISO9001, ISO14001 ISO14040s standards, and conducting technical industrial sectors studies.

Eng. Abeer won three Stevie Awards from three different categories after participation in Middle East Stevie Awards in 2020, these are:

  1. Gold Stevie Winner in a category:” The Most Innovative Communications Professional of the Year”. These categories honor the most innovation in communications practice, management, and use of technology.
  2. Silver Stevie Winner in a category: “Award for Innovation in Community Relations or Public Service Communications”. These categories honor innovation in communications practice, management, and use of technology in the public sector.
  3. Bronze Stevie Winner in a category: “Award for Innovative Management in Government “. These categories honor innovation in executive management including the Award for Innovative Management in a number of industry sectors.

Abeer has been published scientific papers in one of the world accredited journals in E-government. Titled “Barriers to E-Government Adoption in Jordanian Organizations from Users’ and Employees’ Perspectives” in 2017, the link is:

https://www.igi-global.com/article/barriers-to-e-government-adoption-in-jordanian-organizations-from-users-and-employees-perspectives/181280

and published another scientific paper titled: “SEM approach to determine factors affecting e-government success in Jordan”,  the link is:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/333488499_SEM_approach _to_determine_factors_affecting_e-government_success_in_Jordan

She was selected as a Judge at the Best Jordanian chemical product Award in all three cycles of it during 2015 to 2020, Judge in the 2019 management & entrepreneur Awards categories judging committee Stevie Awards, and Judge at the best industrial engineering project for the Jordanian universities in 2019. She participated in several national and International conferences, meetings and presented papers, as a representative of the MIT / Jordan.

https://www.facebook.com/abeer.ramadna

http://linkedin.com/in/abeer-ramadna-msc-ie-pe-cbi-em-itc-mde-66928170

https://stevieawards.com/ar/mena/eng-abeer-ramadna-2

http://jordanembassyus.org/news/jordanian-engineer-wins-three-middle-east-stevie-awards?fbclid=IwAR2iBj4P8uHERE_Q2Yf-hatk2yJ-bGeq1g8MaYPIz_HJ42HqUyA6UCPehdM

Stevie Award winning Case Study:

  • Developing action plans of inspection development to governmental institutions (Inspectorates) work in fields of health, Environment, labor, safety for economic sectors in Jordan.
  • Supervision of developing Electronic Inspection System for governmental inspectorates.
  •  Conduct many awareness workshops for governmental inspectorates and for private sector institutions.
  • Conduct many workshops and training sessions as A National trainer of trainers in the shaping of future studies.
  • Secretariat of higher committee for Inspection development of Economic Activates that consists from high level management in governmental inspectorates.
  • Abeer is trusted as a competent team leader and confident expert in Quality management & Inspection systems
  • Abeer conducted in 2018 a study titled the Industrial engineering in the government sector in Jordan, current situation and future opportunities and present it in the 2nd International Conference on Industrial Systems & Manufacturing Engineering (ISME’19) Nov, 11-12, 2019 in Amman.
  • Abeer was chosen after a series of selection process as one of the National participants in the Civil Service Development Program in Jordan and attended all phases including the leadership and developing high performance teams at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst UK during 2019.

Eng. Abeer Mahmoud Ramadna “Continuing to contribute achievements and make positive impacts are goals that are achievable with the presence of strong & positive attitude, self-motivated character & determination.”

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Articles

Stevie Awards Winners’ Articles Series – Asiacell

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“Winning such an award requires hard work and we encourage other companies to focus on their customers and local communities in order to excel”

Winning Organization: Asiacell

Nomination: Award for Excellence in Innovation in Technology Industries (including Telecom)

Brief about the Organization:

Asiacell is a leading provider of telecommunications and data services in Iraq. As part of international telecommunications company Ooredoo Group, Asiacell was Iraq’s first mobile telecommunications provider to achieve nationwide coverage. Asiacell is also a leading internet provider with its 3.9G data services, offering the best network coverage in all of Iraq since January 2015.

Stevie Award Winning Case Study:

As part of its commitment to expand network coverage in Iraq, Asiacell has continued to support the redevelopment of the country’s infrastructure and economy and the provision of high-quality connectivity solutions. It has enhanced its “Hot Zone” restoration strategy by putting 200 sites on air and connecting over 500 sites to 3G.

Focused on improving the quality of life for communities, Asiacell’s CSR initiatives are focused on key areas, such as health, education and culture. Asiacell has equipped several higher education institutions with computer labs and supported the renovation of schools, with the aim of providing quality education infrastructure. It also partnered with the Chibayish Environmental Tourism Organization to build the first Iraqi Marshlands heritage museum in Ahwar as part of its efforts to revive Iraq’s Marshland, while generating a positive effect on tourism and jobs creation. 

Recognising that its people are its key asset, Asiacell continues to roll out initiatives focused on engaging and empowering employees. It has invested heavily in digital transformation, including digital upskilling for employees, and streamlining of various internal processes in order to nurture a digital-first culture that embraces innovation.

We are so glad to be recognized as a successful and innovative telecommunication company in Iraq with a Stevie Award for “Excellence in Innovation in Technology Industries”. Recognition from the Stevie Awards means a lot to us and motivates Asiacell to continue to serve the community with professionalism. Winning such an award requires hard work and we encourage other companies to focus on their customers and local communities in order to excel.

THANK YOU

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Articles

Qisaty Project & Developing Talent in Children with Special Needs in Egypt

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Edited By: Mahmoud Mansi

Qisaty Project – founded by Mona Lamloum – was launched on 26th December 2019 to support children talents through a series of storytelling, writing and drawing workshops.

The total number of children who participated in the storytelling workshop is 60 including the most talented 20 who were selected to the story writing sessions, 16 children ranging from 6 to 14 years old got their stories selected to be drawn by 19 children with special needs.

The drawing workshops were held in 3 cities in Egypt with cooperation with 2 special needs associations; Nida Society Rehabilitation with both branches in Cairo and Luxor. 14 children, and Ashab El-Erada Association in Alexandria. 5 children.

The children have different disabilities, hearing loss, partial blindness, movement disability, learning difficulty disability, mental disability and increased electricity in the brain.

Of course such an interesting project needs proper preparation and an intellectual plan. Mona Lamloum shared some of the challenges that she and her team have faced during the project:

1-The global pandemic and the sudden lockdown.

2- The fact that most of the children with special needs suffer from many chronic diseases which lowers their immunity, in addition to the huge responsibility that lies on the team while holding the workshop during the pandemic.

3-The fear of the parents of the children with special needs participation at the drawing workshops due to the pandemic and the lack of their immunity. Which was managed to concur with the help of the project partners in drawing workshops. 

Eventually, Qisaty Project was held at exceptional circumstances and according to deadlines set up before the global Corona pandemic. However, the team did their best to get the project done within the lockdown with a quality that is aspired from the beginning, and that was done simply by teamwork, sharing a unified vision, and collaborating to find new solutions.

The result is 16 short stories in addition to 64 drawings by hands of talented children with special needs and with variable disabilities from three cities: Cairo, Alexandria and Luxor. Each drawing tells a different scene from a short story inspired from the children themselves to be published as a grand book that gathers the short stories and the drawings of all the talented young participants.

Acknowledgements:

Qisaty Sponsors:

– Amideast: Hosted the story telling, story writing workshops and the day that gathered the writers and children with special needs mixed day.

– Nahdet Misr Publishing House.

Media Sponsors:

– Marj3 Platform

– HR Revolution Middle East

– EBBY

– Arablit Quarterly

Children with special needs Associations:

– Nida Society Rehabilitation with both branches in Cairo and Luxor.

– Ashab El-Erada Association in Alexandria.

Qisaty Trainers:

– Hanan El-Taher.

– Mona Lamloum.

– Zeinab Mobark.

Designing Storytelling and writing workshop:

-Mona Lamloum

Writing workshops:

– Mona Lamloum

– Yaqoub El-Sharouni

Drawing workshop:

– Under the supervision of Shoikar Khalifa,

 – With the help of respectful team at Nida Association at Cairo and Luxor.

 – Ashab El-Erada Association at Alexandria by Sahar Zaiton with the help of Aliaa Abd-Elsalam.

Team Members:

– Rawan Said

– Ahmed Ismail

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