Employers not ready for remote work


Employers not ready for remote work

In Summary

  • According to a new survey by the Federation of Kenyan Employers (FKE) published last week, a majority 43 per cent of surveyed firms had less than 20 per cent of staff members working from home.
  • Only 25 per cent of firms have made plans to permanently increase the levels of staff teleworking/working from home to atleast one day per week.
  • KE Executive Director Jacqueline Mugo says many firms have been caught unawares by the drastic changes to the work environment following the advent of the pandemic in March this year.

Employers in the country are yet to become accustomed to working from home arrangements and remote work six months since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a new survey by the Federation of Kenyan Employers (FKE) published last week, a majority 43 per cent of surveyed firms had less than 20 per cent of staff members working from home.

Further, only 25 per cent of firms have made plans to permanently increase the levels of staff teleworking/working from home to atleast one day per week.

23 percent of firms indicated they were very unlikely to make any adjustment to fit the new mode of work while another 11 per cent of firms were undecided.

FKE Executive Director Jacqueline Mugo says many firms have been caught unawares by the drastic changes to the work environment following the advent of the pandemic in March this year.

“From the 10 firms that made arrangements on working from home, only 20 percent of their staff were able to do so. We have held discussions on the future of work but as a long-term plan,” she said.

“COVID-19 wiped away the time span we were working with. In Africa for instance, we thought this changes would be sectorial and were caught unawares.”

FKE however indicate that members are seeking to make the necessary adjustments to fit the new normal including the development of guidelines on work from home arrangements.

The guidelines are set to enhance the readiness of work from home arrangements among both employers and workers along with requisite investments in technologies and infrastructure.

“Of course in human nature, it would be much easier to go back but we are hoping that we can build on the new normal so we don’t go back to where we were in March,” Mugo added.

Firms however begun reclining towards change as demonstrated in ICT infrastructure usage.

74 per cent of firms indicated they had scaled up their use of ICT infrastructure with a focus on speed and coverage.

Similarly, 88 percent of firms have indicated internet usage with meetings ad customer services moving to online platforms.

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Story By Kepha Muiruri
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