Remote Work in South Africa vs. Your Boss’s Decision

“Others have insisted that employees return to the office full-time, despite resistance from employees where there is no need to perform their duties in a specific location and the fact that, as a result, many simply no longer see the point in commuting on a daily basis. “

Furthermore, in a 2021 survey, 36% of executives said that the loss of corporate culture is the biggest challenge and makes them resistant to adopting hybrid work environments, although there are conflicting opinions on this, suggesting that where companies invest enough.

Remote Work vs. Work at the Company

As everyone has seen and seen happening around the world, many companies have had to forcibly abandon in-house working and have begun to implement remote working.

As time went on, many companies began to realize that there was no need to require their employees to work in an office in the future.

However, in controversy to this position, there are large companies that advocate working within the company full-time rather than remotely – forcing employees to commute unnecessarily on a daily basis.

The success of remote work in the last two and a half years seems counter-intuitive to this decades-long approach of taking corporate work as the ideal – with many numbers proving that remote work is more efficient.

PwC, for example, cited a recent study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management that found that 67% of managers said they spent more time supervising remote workers than on-site workers. In addition, 72% said they would prefer all of their subordinates to work in the office.

2 reasons your boss doesn’t like remote work

Flexible working is the new normal at some South African companies, but managers are still hesitant to accept the change. Many of these managers have a concrete and not flexible view on the adoption of remote work.

The first reason is that most of them believe remote work is worse for new workers, as many of the inexperienced employees realize that they haven’t joined a company much. They believe they have joined little more than a group video chat.

On the other hand, many of the perks of flexible working—like managing your own time—can work against younger employees at companies that consolidate mentorship programs.

The second reason is that they believe remote or hybrid work is much worse for building new teams to take on new tasks, justifying this with a 2021 Microsoft survey of researchers at UC Berkeley in California.

That research studied messages and chats from 60,000 anonymous employees and found that the number of messages on Teams grew significantly as employees tried to keep up with their peers – but information sharing plummeted.

With this, it was conceived that remote work made people more likely to squat down with their pre-existing teams and much less likely to have conversations that generate added value.

Furthermore, this study also stated that while people can still manage the hard work of emailing and spreadsheets from anywhere, the most important part of the office would be the ‘smooth work’ – the chat and informal interactions. That build long-term trust and is critical to company innovation.”

Well, that’s the side that goes against remote work, mainly dominated and positioned by bosses and company owners, where employees advocate remote work.

How to balance this dispute?

PwC highlighted that office time is not dead and that working remotely is not an inescapable conclusion. Also, this remote work or non-standard team hours must be managed through rules. All of this favors flexibility and autonomy to achieve balance in this relationship.

The central principle must be that, if it is defined that the company will partially or definitively adopt the remote work style, it is necessary to contemplate the flexibility of a person.

In this case, this can be supported by a robust teamwork policy that considers many points, here are a few:

– Mutual respect in the management of workloads, schedules and deadlines of those who depend on their work;

– While you work flexibly/remotely, your team should know how and when they can contact you (during working hours and what to do in an emergency).

– Being responsible means working when you say you are, meeting work deadlines and not abusing the system when no one is “watching you”.

Another important point of note is rising gas prices and affordability issues that are part of a growing conversation about permanently working from home in South Africa.

While most employees in South Africa are in favor of the idea of a hybrid work model, Microsoft data shows that people are often unsure of when to enter the office and why.

Many employees also feel that commuting is unnecessary and prefer to spend valuable time with their family.

Written By