With the growth of smart mobile devices, increased internet connectivity, Wi-Fi hotspots and long-term evolution; people around the world are finding it easier to work from wherever they are. The workplace is now mobile and so is their workforce. In South Africa, it seems a number of companies are embracing the technology, but not the implication.
Kgabo Ralebepa, Associate Director of IT Audit division at SekelaXabiso worked in the UK and managed teams – that she never personally met in four years – on three different continents. These teams were very productive and successful. In South Africa, however, there is a culture of face-to-face interaction and companies need to embrace the full implications of mobility that will in turn increase productivity.
Women, in particular are still battling with pre-conceived ideas from management of what it means to be working. Ralebepa makes some suggestions to companies who want the best out of their workforce.
According to the recent Challenges Faced by Women at Workplace report released by Jet HR, some of the challenges faced by most women are that although they have full time jobs they are still the primary care-givers at home. Women have to work harder to maintain a successful career, alongside a family life – especially if there are children involved.
The latest LinkedIn report about women’s professional paths found that 48% of women surveyed are concerned about finding the right balance between work and family life. The report further states that women are more likely to identify several company benefits as key drivers to career satisfaction – 90% of women prefer the ability to work from home and 50% desire good maternity leave.
Companies should be embracing technological evolutions and innovations as an opportunity to empower women so that they can be productive both at work and at home.
Finding the right work and home life balance has always been a challenge – technology may have made this easier. It is up to companies around the world to trust the technology available to them so that women can get this balance right and be productive at the same time. Connectivity plays a key role and has enabled us to work, video conference and call over the Internet from anywhere –productivity from anywhere, at any time.
Ralebepa has worked in various countries and has seen how productive mobile women are. They are able to work from home and at the same time take care of their families. In South Africa, most women do not feel at ease when they are away from their children, especially those who are few months old – this can affect their performance at work.
Providing women with necessary tools to execute their daily tasks from the comfort of their own homes will no doubt increase productivity. The IT Audit business unit at SekelaXabiso (SkX) has a simple approach when it comes to empowering women: we provide them with the right tools to provide quality service to our clients.
Relooking a mobility strategy as a way of increasing productivity will empower women to work from anywhere and equip them with the necessary tools to do so. If women are not empowered, companies will face consequences of increased absenteeism and reduced efficiency just to mention a few.