South African workers will likely be based at home permanently

South African workers will likely be based at home

South African businesses predict that in three years’ time a third of their staff (33%) will still be working from home.

This is not a significant change from the current pandemic and lockdown-driven level of 38%, research by global advisory, broking, and solutions company Willis Towers Watson shows.

A total of 66 employers in South Africa who have around 207,000 employees participated in the firm’s flexible work survey, which was conducted in September and October 2020.

The survey shows that, although some workers will head back to the office once it is safer to do so, remote working, which was used by just 4% of staff in South Africa three years ago, is seen as a long-term strategic change.

“The sudden boom in home working will become a permanent shift with many benefits for businesses and their staff,” said Melanie Trollip, director of Talent and Reward at Willis Towers Watson South Africa.

“Businesses see that, in a world beyond Covid, flexible working arrangements can boost productivity, attract talent, and support diversity. The challenge for businesses now is to rethink how work is designed and rewarded so they can improve performance, and control costs and risks.”

Trollip said that some staff have been worried that remote working will mean that jobs are offshored to other countries. Others are concerned that employers will pay them according to where they live – a move which major companies in some countries are considering.

The survey found that 85% of employers will pay remote workers the same as in-office employees next year, regardless of their location. 41% say that they are not concerned where most work gets done.

Firms are also not planning to use flexible working to shift jobs to other countries. On average, businesses expect that 5% of jobs currently being done through flexible working arrangements will be offshored over the next three years.

Much depends on the employer, as almost two thirds (62%) say they will not relocate any such jobs.

Playing catch-up

Despite the high levels of remote working anticipated in the future, many South African firms are poorly prepared. Only 15% said their current job architecture fully supports a flexible and agile workforce, while 20% said it did not support it at all.

A quarter (24%) of employers still do not have a formal policy to manage flexible working arrangements, while 61% only created a policy this year.

“Covid turbo-charged an existing trend towards flexible working, and now employers need to catch up. The ways work is structured, how it gets done, where it gets done, and how pay is managed are all still based on people working in an office within geographically-organised teams. That needs to change if a business is to prosper,” said Trollip.

“Employers now need to take a step back and examine the future state of their organisation and decide how they can make the most of their new agile workforce.

“Many firms are looking at how they should now mix pay and rewards, and how they can best motivate and engage their people,” she said.


RSS Latest Press Release

  • Smart Toilet Market Size to Reach $15181.4 Million by 2027
    Global Smart Toilet Market is valued at USD 7452.1 Million in 2020 and Anticipated to reach USD 15181.4 Million by 2027 with a Growing CAGR of 10.7% over the forecast period. Global Smart Toilet Market: Global Size, Trends, Competitive, Historical & Forecast Analysis 2021-2027, Rising adoption of innovative hygiene technologies such as UV lighting, supportive […]
  • Ideal Keepsake Boxes Add an Extra Touch to Saving Beautiful Memories
    Dallas, TX: November 29, 2021 – Family business Wayfaren is delighted to announce the release of its beautifully understated Keepsake Boxes - an ideal gift for loved ones to safely store treasured memories.   Their Keepsake Boxes, available in either maple or walnut, are thoughtfully designed and meticulously crafted for those who don't want to sacrifice style […]
  • Guru Printers Provides Exceptional Service in Sheet Labelling
    Los Angeles: November 29, 2021 – When it comes to branding your business in the right way, Guru Printers have developed a series of eye-catching solutions to enable companies to stand out from competitors.   With over a decade of printing experience, the Los Angeles-based company has created a robust line of printing services to meet […]
  • Plasterfix Australia Delivers Professional Plaster Solutions for Home and Business
    Alexandria NSW – Plasterfix Australia has increasingly become the go-to plastering services company for businesses and homeowners who are looking for a professional and perfect finish.   Plasterfix is anchored by the skills of master craftsman Pedro Pires, who has been honing the craft of plastering for 30 years. He learnt from his father, who passed […]