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The pandemic has pushed employees to work from home, and forced employers to adapt to the ever-changing times. It’s been a roller coaster, right? But the pandemic has also benefited employees with flexible hours and paved the way for a more hybrid approach to work. One that actually works! So, what does that mean for you?
It’s no secret that the shape of the global workforce has changed… and that’s a good thing for South Africa. The traditional nine-to-five work day has been turned on its head, and many are embracing the freedom it offers and thriving in this arrangement. Jane Khumalo, HR Manger at Hey Jude, chats to Go Hustle about hybrid work in SA – why it’s become so popular in Mzansi and what it means for you in 2022.
Flexibility is on everyone’s lips
The Boston Consulting Group and The Network did a study in 2021, called Decoding Global Ways of Working, which focused on the pandemic’s impact on worker preferences. The results: 53% of South African respondents want a job that allows them to work from home occasionally, while 61% preferred some or full flexibility in defining their working hours.
“The world is increasingly moving online and this is redefining both how organisations hire people and how people want to work. Modern businesses need to adapt their thinking and look at alternatives to traditional employment,” says Jane.
As a business, Hey Jude has learned to operate successfully with remote workers, she says. “We no longer expect people to be sitting in our offices to do their jobs. We hire people from around the world, who can work from home, in the hours that suit them.”
Technology is the enabler, people are the key
Side hustle, freelance, on-demand work – call it what you will, but when it comes to employment, technology is changing attitudes and opportunities. According to data from Stats SA, full-time employment numbers have decreased, but part-time job numbers have risen. Technology enables people to work with greater flexibility, giving them more time to spend with family, greater earning potential and a happier work-life balance. Accepting a new job no longer has to disrupt families, explains Jane. Relocating schools, moving home, being separated from your family and lengthy commuting times can all be a hardship of the past when you work from home.
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Hybrid work: a new way of living and working
So, what does all of this mean for you? “There’s a new way to work and live in South Africa,” says Jane. “With a computer or laptop, an internet connection and your skills, you can work on your own terms and in your own time. From the mom with free mornings to the travel agent who wants to supplement their income, there are many opportunities for work that can benefit both businesses and motivated individuals. The future of work is here, and that future is flexible,” she says.