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Coronavirus outbreak highlights the need to introduce home working for Government Staff in Africa


As AfCFTA countries across Africa go into lockdown, government must continue to function without putting the health of its staff at risk.


By Del Harvey
Posted on 08 April 2020 at 08:00am

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Government remote working policy improves staff retention and reduces sick leave



Within the past few months Covid-19 Coronavirus has affected economies around the world with its rapid spread, causing businesses and governments to scramble for a solutions to ensure their continuity of operations and the protection of their staff.

The requirement by governments to advise its citizens to maintain Social Distancing to reduce the chance of human to human Covid-19 viral transmissions, is creating major problems within industry.

In an effort to protect their staff many organisations have been forced to opt for a partial, or in some cases a total shutdown of its sector. These areas including reduced operability of airlines, restaurants and many service industry companies, at a scale never seen before in modern history. This has resulted in a lost revenue for corporations, and the near collapse of global job markets.


Keeping your government functional throughout a national emergency

However, in times of national emergencies the function of government is essential, as governments must remain resilient throughout this period. It is not possible for governments to follow its own Social Distancing advice by closing its offices, or shutting down essential government services in order to protect its own staff.

To ensure governments continue to function whilst keeping its staff safe, its departments operational, and its citizens supported throughout this crisis, the only tried and tested solution available today is Staff Remote working.

I would like to quickly explain the term Remote Working for any Managers who may not be familiar with this concept.


Office Working vs Remote Working

In a traditional working environment, your staff are based within an office, where they will be required to perform their duties from their desk using their computer. All the information they need to do their job is usually stored on the hard disk of their computer, therefore they must sit at the assigned desk and computer throughout the working day.

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Home working improves staff productivty by up to 40%


Remote working is very different from the traditional model, in that it allows your staff to work online from anywhere over a secure network, using a laptop or tablet computer. This allows staff to do their job at home in exactly the same way as they would if they were sitting at their desk in the office.


Learning E-Government technology from the corporate sector

The worlds top corporations have been using mission critical Management Software to enable remote working for their staff for more than 30 years. In the past 15 years or so, governments of Western Europe and North America have seen the benefits of Remote Working in the private sector, and have invested heavily in technology now known as E-Government.

This investment in EGovernment technology has provided governments with numerous operational and efficiency benefits, which include the ability for staff to work from home, with management monitoring staff performance and productivity remotely.


Keeping your staff safe to stay operational

With the emergence of the Covid-19 Coronavirus, remote working has ensured that government departments continue to function normally throughout this crisis.

By allowing its staff to work from home, governments have eliminating the risk of human to human transmissions within their offices. Had they not made that initial technology investment, this could have resulted in reduced operational capacity, or the closing down of many of their government departments during this crisis.


Preparing for future emergency events

With other recent human to human transmissible outbreaks such as Ebola in 2014 and again in 2018, the governments of Africa should now be considering how best to computerise their departments. Upgrading from a manual management system to computerisation, will help your department to improve efficiency, sustainability and improve preparedness for future outbreaks, which seem to be happening all to frequently.

Over the past few years, the cost of software development has fallen substantially, so there is really no excuse as to why the governments of Africa should not be as well supported by technology as their European and North American counterparts.

Converting from a manually managed government department to a fully computerised government department can be done quickly and at a reasonable cost. An initial investment in technology brings huge long term benefits to your department, as you can usually enjoy the use of your software for 20 years and more.

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