EAPA-SA’s EduWeb seminar on 4 December was titled, Is remote work here to stay? It’s a question that is on a lot of people’s minds at the moment – some of us are looking forward to getting out from the constraints of our home office while others are only too happy to stay put and continue working from home – and as EAPs it is so valuable to be given a sense of what the future of holds for ourselves and also to be able to properly support our clients.
This webinar was presented by Angelique Diedericks, Senior Manager in the People and Organisation Practice department of PwC. Angelique has comprehensive experience as a psychologist and is part of the New World, New Skills team at PwC.
Angelique brought attendees a wealth of cutting-edge information around the brave new world of remote work, covering both employee and organisational perspectives while looking at the impacts and benefits, as well as general employee observations on their work-from-home wellbeing. She also covered ethical considerations going forward – especially for when working from home is no longer compulsory, but is rather leadership’s choice for their organisation going forward.
“…81 percent of CEOs who took part in PwC’s most recent CEO survey indicated that they plan to move to a fully remote or hybrid in-office/work-from-home model. “
Looking at whether remote work is here to stay, Angelique reported that 81 percent of CEOs who took part in PwC’s most recent CEO survey indicated that they plan to move to a fully remote or hybrid in-office/work-from-home model.
Angelique brought extra value to this presentation by providing some useful, practical strategies for making the transition to working remotely a more productive, less stressful experience for both the organisation and their employees. She made it clear that the need to focus on employee wellbeing is greater than ever, particularly because the unprecedented change that pandemic has ushered in is causing massive disruption and uncertainty across the globe.
In one of the interesting questions raised in the Q&A session afterwards, the difference in the public and private sector’s speed in shifting over to remote work was mentioned – and it was pointed out that perhaps many of the public sector jobs at municipal level are not suitable to be shifted to remote work. In addressing this question Angelique indicated, from PwC’s recent consulting in the public sector, that while certain municipal and government departments may take longer to make the transition to working remotely that this shift will take place and that in the process that brand new jobs will be created – jobs that will require employees to embrace technology and embark on digital upskilling.
Eduweb’s Q&A sessions are every bit as thought provoking as the presentations themselves and questions were also asked around the issue of gender equality, risk management, how different generations in the workplace will respond with differing needs and expectations of remote work, as well as whether the problem of domestic violence will be exacerbated by an increase in the prevalence of remote work.
All-round, the presentation made clear that remote working, or a hybrid model, are the way of the future and will have a profound impact on all facets of male and female employee’s lives – both professional and personal. And it is ensuring the wellbeing of employees and organisations that lies at the heart of organisations flourishing in the future.