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.
SekelaXabiso associate director of IT audit division Kgabo Ralebepa 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, she said 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.
Ralebepa said women, in particular are still battling with preconceived ideas from management of what it means to be working. Ralebepa makes some suggestions to companies who want the best out of their workforce.
“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,” Ralebepa said.
The latest LinkedIn report about women’s professional paths found 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 they can be productive both at work and at home, Ralebepa said.
“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,” she said.
Ralebepa has worked in various countries and said she had 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,” she said. – Business Reporter