As more and more global attention shifts towards investing in the physical and mental welfare of people, an increasing number of companies are moving towards a human-centered approach to policy making and accepted work culture.
At RED | For Africa, we have always embraced an increasingly progressive work culture in response to the extant global research on the subject matter. We have over the years, practiced a remote work culture, granting team members weekly work-from-home days, periodic work-from-home weeks, and more. This is why we seamlessly adopted a complete work-from-home policy long before the government-mandated lock-down in March, making us one of the first companies in West Africa to do so.
Nonetheless, it has become necessary to cushion the likely effects of working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, considering the ease with which work can spill into personal time, and how a constant presence in one space can considerably deplete creativity, we decided to completely shut-down work on 21 March, 2020, allowing team members to recharge and come back fired up, and ready to better serve our clients.
Just recently, Google and Facebook announced that they have decided to extend their work-from-home till the end of the year. Twitter also announced that its employees could work-from-home “indefinitely”. This shows an increased leveraging of technology in order to make the way work is done better and more efficient for both the employer and employee.
A research in International Journal of Science shows that employee productivity, mental well-being and overall work-performance begin to suffer when there is no adequate break from work. It concluded that breaks albeit ignored for fear of losing productivity actually increase productivity, lessen fatigue, stress and boredom, and reduce job-related strain and accidents. Overworked employees often deal with chronic stress that can result in job burnout which will not only affect employee health and well-being, but the company’s bottom line.
Amongst other innovative steps we are taking at RED, we’ve also opened a food bank for team members who require support in these times, and created ‘The Huddle’, a weekly mental and emotional release and engagement channel for the team as we navigate the pandemic. This is the new normal and we are more than ready to adapt and make the most of it.
Above all, we have made a commitment as a company, to continually align our operations with emerging research backed by data. So whether it’s work-from-home, shutdown, or any other practice that will improve team performance and well-being, we’re always willing to adapt.