Sthembiso Ntshangase, May 2022

The world witnessed a historic shift in the 2020 job market due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While some companies used to offer the ability to work from home as a perk, it has now become the norm for most businesses. According to Forbes, by 2025, an estimated 70% of the workforce will be working remotely at least five days a month.

In a study that has data gathered from over 5,000 of the country’s top recruiting agencies and employers, Career Junction showed that 2% of South Africa’s vacant jobs across the country are full-time work-from-home options. The freedom of working remotely improves work-life balance for many employees by reducing commutes and allowing for more time for domestic duties.

According to a survey from Enterprise Technology Research (ETR). “The productivity metric is proving that remote work is working,” Many companies are also planning a new combination of remote and on-site working, giving rise to a hybrid work model. Remote work has changed performance management considerably. Companies are also making performance reviews ongoing rather than annual. Continuous feedback will become essential as managers strive to help employees navigate their job responsibilities and meet performance expectations.

According to the survey conducted by Mercer, a Human Resource and Workplace Benefits Consulting firm, 94% of employers said productivity was the same as or higher than before the pandemic, even with their employees working remotely. The studies and experiences shared by a number of participants indeed seem to show that the future of work is taking a different trend. Does this future trend affect all company sizes in all industry sectors? What are some of the basic requirements to be able to deal with this transition? Are there any changes in the labour legislation that seem to provide guidance or assist in this revolution? What technological systems can companies consider using to aid the management of the workforce as well as assess performance, to ensure the finger is on the pulse for all employees whilst they work remotely? These are some of that Executives and Business Leaders need to ponder as they consider the option of the hybrid model or complete work from home for their workforce.

According to the World-Wide Worx (WWW) survey conducted among 400 firms in South Africa. The report indicated that the benefits for employees working remotely included greater flexibility, more time to spend with children, higher productivity, and commuter cost savings. Factors that enabled employees to work remotely included company support, access to the Internet, and a non-distracting home environment.

We can conclude that working from home has shown more positive results for more companies than now. According to a recent study by Michael Page working from home has the opposite effect, as many professionals in South Africa who work from home report that they are more motivated, productive, and satisfied than before.

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