Working remotely in an African home is the absolute jungle! No one can claim otherwise.
How do you explain to your parents that the job that brings you money does not require you to come to a physical location? And you are not a Yahoo boy?! You will hear things like ‘Tell me the truth, are you now into yahoo yahoo?’
Or you complain you are having a small headache and the next thing is ‘It’s because of the phone you are pressing’.
These are just some of the scenarios you could experience working remotely in an African home.
Things you go through working remotely in an African home
You can never convince anyone that you are actually working
From your parents to visiting aunties, nobody believes you are actually working remotely in an African home. You are constantly trying to convince them that sitting by the laptop in your pajamas every day does not mean you are playing or watching porn.
And no, you are not just ‘pressing phone’; you are actively doing a task that is supposed to fetch you money at the end of the month.
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You lowkey get to do the chores
Talmabout “Since you are not going to work, can you please cook beans?”
Sometimes the problem is not even the chores. I mean, one of the advantages of remote work is being able to manage your time the way you want. The problem lies in the “…since you are not going to work”.
Ma’am, I’m literally working on this bed!
The entire neighbourhood thinks you are jobless
Especially if you live in the suburbs or semi-urban areas where every other person’s nose is into someone else’s business. Just expect that a well-meaning elder is coming to lecture you on the advantages of being hard-working.
You’ll get questions like “You no dey go work?’ Or ‘Do you know there’s no food for lazy man?”
With all due respect, sir, I can remove your cap and slap you with it.
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Even worse, the neighbours think you are a yahoo boy
With Nigeria’s whistleblower policy on Yahoo boys, expect a few police visits with a sprinkle of arrest warrants. Especially if your neighbours don’t like you.
And if you are the type that buys things online and is always taking deliveries, ahh!
Prepare to be called a yahoo boy, because why are you always on your laptop?!
Trying to get everyone to stop making noise while you are in a meeting
Looking like a clown while trying to get everyone to keep quiet when you are on a meeting.
One of the disadvantages of remote work is the constant meetings, especially if you work in a company that does daily stand-ups.
And working remotely in an African home means you must learn the act of bribery and threats! It’s either that or you dash into the bathroom to take your meeting. Because it’s usually during the meeting, when it’s your turn to give a presentation, that your sibling will enter yelling at the top of their voice, “Mummy say I should ask if you’re eating beans”.
Convincing your African parents that remote work doesn’t mean you won’t find a husband
How do you tell your mother that remote work does not stop you from giving her grandchildren?
You would hear tales of how her friend’s sister’s child met her husband on the staff bus. And her father’s brother’s daughter met her husband while she was struggling to board a bus to Oshodi.
Ensuring your mic is muted while you wash plates and cook
I think we have clearly established that working remotely in an African home means you cannot avoid the chores. Hence, the smarter thing to do is to run them during meetings.
The problem with that, though, is living in constant fear that your mic is not muted.
Imagine your CEO is talking and you are busy scraping a pot of Amala? Not a good look, please.
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How does the entire family already know the office gist?
Because you are always in one work call or the other, don’t be surprised when someone is speaking in a meeting and your mom asks ‘is that Seun?, greet her for me o’
Pro tip: It is at this point you should realise and know that your parents should never meet your colleagues. Especially the ones you and your office bestie have gossiped about.
Working remotely in an African home: On a final note
All of these problems are usually in the first month, because as they say ‘money stops nonsense’! By the time they see your first salary, nobody will beg them to keep quiet when you are in a meeting and you’ll suddenly see that the chores you do have been passed to an actual jobless sibling.
So if you fit into any if the above, just relax, freedom is coming by month’s end!