Keeping it real in the workplace

The Open Dialogue (Keeping it real in the workplace)

circle-icon author-name

Yaki Naude

February 5, 2021 | 4 minute read


Keeping it real in the workplace

As humans we love to compartmentalise stuff in an attempt perhaps to gain a sense of control or to understand things better. Enter and exit 2020. With said exit many of us (quite illogically) believed things would change with immediate effect. A virus, however, does not necessarily pay attention to the human calendar and we find ourselves yet again, in lockdown in 2021. Still.

Whether working from home is a dream come true, or not, it surely comes with its own sets of challenges. Let’s mitigate moving the mountains of despondency in this unparalleled era we find ourselves in.



IoT.nxt® like to instil a thankful outlook on life, especially in challenging times. It’s simple, really. When you are grateful, you focus on the positive. When you focus on the positive; no deadline, confrontation, presentation or navigating the challenges of life during a pandemic can be completely overwhelming. It’s a superpower, really.

Nothing shows appreciation more than giving back. The IoT.nxt® staff has, of their own pocket (with the company matching all donations), raised close to one million rand in half a year through their Charity Initiative, A Time To Give last year and there aren’t any plans to stop this initiative any time soon. Besides for donating this undeniably staggering amount of moolah, they have donated their time and resources by packing care packages or spending time at children’s homes in their community. Giving has united employees as well as lifted their spirits amidst a time where the entire globe was under house arrest, battling despondency.

It would then come as no surprise, that such an attitude trickles down from the very top. CEO and Co-Founder of IoT.nxt® Nico Steyn says: “I wake up every morning, and the first thing that I do is thank my creator for another day, grateful to have a chance at making another day count.”

Let’s get practical:

  • Keep a gratitude diary. Start the day by counting your blessings and shift any negativity immediately.
  • Curb complaining to colleagues. A visual description of your bunions might leave your work mates a little queasy.
  • Blast some upbeat music when you feel sliding into a crappy attitude.

How do YOU keep a healthy mindset? Leave a comment!



If, like us, you like to deliciously mess up your life with lively little beings, this might sometimes prove testing when working from home, to say the least. We love our human and fur babies but to provide for them we need to also retain our jobs.

An important thing to remember is that everyone on the other side of the video call is human, and highly likely has their own gerbil / exotic snake / chihuahua / hyper-active child closed off somewhere for the duration of the meeting. One does tend to want to seem in control, especially when the boss says: “Video on!”.

While our pets help us survive lockdown, their sudden insane barking while you’re presenting to the CEO becomes a Houston type situation. The trick lies in the planning and practising patience.

Let’s get practical:

  • Plan ahead for those important calls by creating a fun, safe space for the bambinos or pets with a door to close and snacks to keep them busy.
  • Put a half hour blocker in your diary should you have to take them to school, the vet, or extramural activities.

Would you like to share a funny lockdown-child/animal story! Leave a comment!



For the IoT.nxt® staffers in South Africa, the country-wide intermittent power cuts have proved to come with its own set of obstacles. How does one remain always online? And what are employees’ risks and responsibilities in such a situation?

According to Hayley Byleveldt (HR manager, IoT.nxt®), a reasonable employer will not penalise you for being offline for the duration of loadshedding, reflecting the correct timeframe, but that said, responsible, career-ladder-climbing employees need to do all in their power to be online.

“Try and make up the hours where possible or go into the office (when possible or safe) or a coffee shop for that slot. Manage expectations and perceptions with your manager so that important work can be reallocated… don’t just fall off the face of the earth for 3-4 hours.”

She continues: “It is not the employee’s fault if there is loadshedding. If the offices are open, however, and safety measures are being taken, they do technically have the right to expect you to be available for the duration of the day. If escalated to CCMA they always look at track record, intention and efforts done on both sides to curb work disruption.”

Let’s get practical:
  • Buy a one-day bundle of 10G on many mobile networks for R20 which should carry you through and this amount is often less than the amount you would use for public transport / petrol to get into the office/ coffee shop.
  • Load video conference software onto your mobile device and keep a fully loaded power bank nearby.
  • Always give your manager a heads-up, with a plan on how to make up for lost time.

Please share your tips and tricks on mitigating external hinderances when working remotely! Leave a comment!


In closing, it has proven true that when we create a “no excuses” zone, we excel even in extreme circumstances. Let’s share encouragement, positive vibes and camaraderie to continuously accept the challenge that is life. Over to you!



*The name of this blog says it all. We want to hear from you! Please leave your thoughts below and join The Open Dialogue.

Leave a Reply

Posted by


Yaki Naude

Is an IoT industry leader

Share this post

Browse related topics