Coping with the lock-down: Perspectives from accounting professionals

We are now several weeks into the lockdown and stay-at-home orders in many countries around the world. It has been a challenging time for all of us and we spoke to a few people to see how they are coping with the current situation.

Next in our series of articles entitled ‘Coping with the lock-down: 5 Questions’, we talked to three experienced accountants working in various industries.

Read on to see what they had to say about working from home and what they are looking forward to most once the restrictions are lifted. Also stay tuned for other articles in this series in the coming days!

Once the restrictions are lifted, I am looking forward to meeting family & friends, a live concert, a sporting event, a pint in the local!

Damian Bourke

Please tell us a bit about yourself

Damian Bourke
I work in the finance team for a US tech company – based in Dublin.

Mariam Engelbrecht
Accountant by day, international citizen of the world by night.

Kuvani Naidoo
I am a Charted Accountant from South Africa. I like reading, traveling and running.

How are you coping with the current stay-at-home situation?

Damian Bourke
Relatively ok – I initially struggled with the home/ work divide, but this has improved in recent weeks by putting boundaries in place (e.g., laptop and phone put away after a certain time). As I previously worked with a lot of colleagues over video call, the shift to all interactions through VC/ email has not been a major change.

Mariam Engelbrecht
Making things work!

Kuvani Naidoo
I have been coping ok but I have not gotten a routine. Feeling a little bit of cabin fever at the moment.

What things have you done differently during the lockdown?

Damian Bourke
I find I take a longer lunch break but tend to start working a little earlier. The longer lunch break allows me to go for a short walk with my wife or go to the shop if needed. Since mid-March, I’ve been spending more time on making my breakfast and lunch and taking the time to enjoy it – in the past, this was a grab and go. Also using instant chat a lot more frequently with team members in lieu of sending emails/ setting up meetings.

Mariam Engelbrecht
More focus on time management. More homemade cooking.

Kuvani Naidoo
I have worked from home. I have spent more time trying to organize my place and get it in order. I have done more online shopping than I usually do.

What are you looking forward to most after the restrictions are lifted?

Damian Bourke
Face to face interaction with my colleagues in Dublin and being able to use a white board – I’ve realise most of my problem solving is done with markers! Outside of work, naturally looking forward to some return to normal living – meeting family & friends, a live concert, a sporting event, a pint in the local!

Mariam Engelbrecht
Seeing friends and family.

Kuvani Naidoo
Looking forward to travel.

In your opinion, what impact will this pandemic have on the way we work and deal with life?

Damian Bourke
I think it will expedite the move to more people working remotely. I also think people will appreciate being outside in nature or interacting with a friend/ family member in person a lot more (versus being constantly distracted by phone or digital updates and not being present in the moment)

Mariam Engelbrecht
We will do life differently. Renewed focus on what matters , where time is spent and qualitatively seek experiences rather than material things.

Kuvani Naidoo
I think going forward there will be more flexibility in the way we do things.


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article belong to the individuals interviewed and should not be attributed to any organisations that they are associated with.

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The Accountant’s Diary aims to provide short, snappy and shareable content on the topics of accounting, auditing, finance, business and technology.

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