Loadshedding, according to recent news, has been declared a national state of disaster. The pressure on the system, the lack of resources, and the corruption that remains rampant are all contributing to strained business and increasingly erratic power supply. As the situation remains untethered and fractured, Nicol Myburgh, Head: CRS Technologies HCM Business Unit, recommends that every company and individual invest in solutions that will keep their businesses and households up and running, regardless of the loadshedding level.

“The problems that surround loadshedding are becoming increasingly intense,” he says. “Not only are South Africans struggling to survive within ever-tightening energy constraints, but many companies have allowed their people to adopt hybrid and remote working strategies that are being directly affected by loadshedding. This means that companies have to find a delicate balance between giving employees the space to work from anywhere, while ensuring that those employees can actually work.”

For many companies, including CRS, the decision to move energy provision off the grid has become standard practice and solar has taken off in the country. Investing in a reliable solar grid, while not perfect on rainy days, does ensure that the organisation has a relatively consistent supply of power that it can rely on to remain in business. This not only puts the company on firmer foundations, but also ensures that employees have access to resources so they can do their jobs. However, it introduces a new dynamic to the hybrid working situation.

“The business has to be realistic,” says Myburgh. “While there may be a hybrid working agreement in place, if an employee can’t work their dedicated eight hours at home because they don’t have the right loadshedding setup, then they need to come into the office. The reality is simple – the employee has a contract to provide a set amount of work to the company and if they can’t provide it, the company can dismiss them.”

This is a warning note for those who believe their hybrid working environment allows them to stop working when the electricity does. If they cannot provide the right levels of service to the company, they can lose their jobs. And this introduces another layer of complexity – can the business then remove hybrid working if employees can’t perform in the current environment?

“Yes and no,” says Myburgh. “On the one hand, hybrid working is a business perk or operating decision, but on the other, if the employee can’t perform their duties outside the office, they have to come back to the office. And then the onus is on the organisation to ensure that there is adequate power available for its employees. Essentially, as loadshedding becomes increasingly problematic, the business needs to figure out what solution will work best for its staff and bottom line, and implement that.”

For more information, go to: https://www.crs.co.za/