There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to re-evaluate their work and office setup to a remote working dynamic, but what do employees actually think about this? A recent survey suggests that most South Africans would like to continue working from home, which poses a number of questions for companies going forward.
According to Robert Walters’ 2021 Salary Survey, 40% of South Africans said that they’d like to move to a full-time, work-from-home situation. A further 27% said they’d like to work remotely 50% of the time.
Of the 2,000 professionals surveyed, a quarter of them claimed that senior leadership in their respective companies would prevent this though, as they prefer a “bums-on-seats” approach.
CONCERN ABOUT PRODUCTIVITY
Of course, this resistance from certain companies to embrace the remote working dynamic long-term comes from a concern over the productivity levels of the employees. While 66% of employees claimed to be more productive working from home, 27% of employers said the drop in productivity is the main reason that remote working should not be on the cards in the long run.
Samantha-Jane Gravett, associate director at Robert Walters Africa, says that, while the pandemic did not necessarily bring about entirely new trends in the working style, it certainly did fast-track the flexible working hours paradigm by speeding up the transition by about 5 to 10 years.
“We anticipate that some of the changes incorporated into the workplace as a result of COVID 19 in 2020 will be more enshrined into day-to-day working environments going forward. In some industries, there will be an element of remote working embedded for good”, Gravett added.
EMAIL A THING OF THE PAST?
According to statistics, the usage of email also took a huge dip during the past year. 39% of the respondents replaced email with instant messenger (74%), video calls (55%) and telephone calls (66%) as primary forms of communication. The survey reported that due to the lack of formal lines of communication and physical interaction, the communication channels between colleagues become a lot more conversational and less formal.
HOW DO YOU ADAPT?
It’s clear that businesses will be expected to adapt to the changing behaviours of employees, and not necessarily the other way around. Of course, if a traditional work environment and system work for your employees, that’s great. But, for many, they’re going to need to embrace the shift to remote working and the challenges and benefits which come with that. Having a custom-built central system, whether it’s to help facilitate your operations, streamline communication, have your employees access and work on the same interface, or even manage your employees themselves, Dcyfer IT can help develop that solution.
So, to ensure that your business is ready for the next wave of the working world and future-proofed in its design, utilising good developers is important, as it can help provide your business with the platform or internal system to make the transition a smooth one.