The adoption of remote work, commonly referred to as work from home (WFH), has experienced a surge in popularity in recent times, particularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The trend has also gained significant traction in Accra, Ghana, as evident in an online survey conducted by HR Focus, where the majority of respondents expressed their preference for remote work as a result of the current economic situation in the country. This article aims to delve into five key thematic areas based on the survey insights and offer actionable recommendations to HR professionals.
The study revealed that 83% of the respondents agreed that they would prefer working from home because of the current economic situation in Ghana. This finding suggests that remote working could be an effective strategy for reducing expenses such as transportation, meals, and office rent, which could help employees manage their finances better. HR professionals should consider adopting flexible work arrangements that cater to the current economic situation to boost employee morale and productivity.
Most of the respondents (97%) agreed that working from home saves time spent on commuting to and from work. This finding is consistent with previous research, which suggests that remote working saves time spent on commuting, which could be utilized for more productive activities. However, a significant number of respondents (57%) admitted that they could easily get distracted when working from home. Therefore, HR professionals should provide guidelines on how to manage time effectively and avoid distractions.
The study found that 65% of the respondents agreed that working from home improves productivity. This finding contradicts previous research that suggests that remote working could reduce productivity. However, it is important to note that 34% of the respondents disagreed with this statement, indicating that some employees may find it difficult to maintain productivity when working from home. HR professionals should provide training and support to help employees maintain productivity when working remotely.
Stress and Well-being:
The study revealed that 76% of the respondents agreed that working from home reduces their stress levels. The finding is consistent with previous research, which suggests that remote working could help employees achieve a better work-life balance, reduce commuting stress, and promote mental well-being. However, 20% of the respondents disagreed with this statement, indicating that some employees may experience stress when working remotely. HR professionals should provide support to employees experiencing stress and promote well-being through remote working arrangements.
The study found that 53% of the respondents disagreed with the statement that their organizations were putting measures in place to facilitate working from home. This finding suggests that some organizations may not have effective policies and practices in place to support remote working. HR professionals should provide training and support to managers and employees to ensure that remote working arrangements are effective and sustainable.
Recommendations for HR Professionals
Based on the survey insights, HR professionals can consider adopting the following recommendations to support remote working arrangements:
Adopt flexible work arrangements: This could include options such as remote working, flexible hours, and job sharing.
Provide guidelines on time management: This could include strategies such as setting clear boundaries between work and personal time, creating a dedicated workspace, and minimizing distractions.
Provide training and support for remote work: This could include training on how to use remote work tools effectively, how to stay focused and motivated, and how to manage work-life balance.
Promote employee well-being: This could include providing resources for mental health support, encouraging regular breaks, and promoting healthy work-life balance.
Establish effective policies and practices: This could include policies on communication and collaboration, technology infrastructure, and performance management.
The pandemic has posed unique challenges for organizations worldwide, requiring HR professionals to devise innovative strategies that foster employee well-being and drive productivity in the context of remote work. To this end, we urge organizations to invest in flexible work arrangements and provide comprehensive guidance on time management to their employees. By prioritizing employee well-being and establishing effective policies and practices, HR professionals can facilitate sustainable and productive remote working arrangements that enable organizations to thrive amidst adversity.