WRITTEN BY: OMEGA NGEMA
It may have been vaulted on us by the Covid-19 pandemic, however remote working has ushered in some momentous changes in our business and professional lives thus propelling it’s prolong and/ or indefinite stay.
It has been a little over a month since the South African economy was finally opened up forsooth. And after six months of hard lockdown, one of the painfully learned lessons from the acute economic austerity has been that remote working is a productive and viable option for business. The remote work boom necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic has revolutionized business virtually overnight.
Evidently, the result of the post- covid-19 scenario has been that since remote working continues, businesses that went remote early on are still doing business as usual, while businesses that decided to wait it out had a lot of catching up to do.
As Ernest and Young global chairman and CEO Carmine Di Sibio explains in “Why remote working will be the new normal, even after Covid-19,” working from home offers businesses a chance to rethink their way of operating sustainably and reap the rewards over medium to long term. Remote working will mean less office space, less commuting, fewer business trips, shorter breaks and greater focus for employees.
For starters, according to the “Remote Working in South Africa 2020”, study done by World Wide Worx for Cisco – which looked at 400 enterprises, feedback from the market seems to indicate that remote workers are also less likely to take short absences due to illness.
According to previous reports the study found that for companies that had already rolled out digital transformation strategies prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the increased productivity increased to 70%.
Remote working has also proven to have a positive impact on the remuneration system of companies and provide insights into (HR) opportunities. For example Facebook has announced that they will allow their employees to work from home on a permanent basis. However the condition is that they may not be allowed to keep the same salary if they move to more affordable parts of the country. Another advantage is that through remote working, crisis like the Covid-19 pandemic will never be able to catch businesses off guard. Finally, remote working can give a renewed boost to cooperation and cohesion.
According to Reuters, China’s Lenovo Group, the world’s biggest PC maker, posted a better than expected quarterly profit on Tuesday and said it is continuing to benefit from “new normal” remote working after Covid-19.
In fact, , according to Refinitiv data.Lenovo reported a 53% increase in net profit for the quarter ended September to $310 million, beating an average $224 million estimate of eight analysts.
Overall, revenue increased 7% to $14.5 billion.
Speaking to Enspired Women Magazine, a beautician and entrepreneur describes how she turned lemons into lemonade, or more precisely, a retrenchment into a profitable business opportunity by working remotely.
34 year old wife and mother of two Peta Korte said she was devastated when she was suddenly left unemployed a month into the Covid-19 lockdown. The qualified beautician and professional hair stylist however decided to hit the ground running and soon after started her own remote saloon business.
She said other than the financial implications, Korte decided to branch into remote working permanently to stay close to her family. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, her children were now also home full time and needed someone to look after them.
“I started my remote business to be closer to my family. Working remotely allows me the freedom I need to be able to be closer to my family as well as service my client at any given time or place. This has not only bettered my home life, but also my professional life I have also become much more productive,” said Korte.