It is now almost universally acknowledged that the coronavirus outbreak will change the way people work, with more emphasis on remote working.
A new study conducted by Industrial Psychology Consultants (IPC) reveals for the first time how the COVID-19 outbreak will have profound change on employment in Zimbabwe, with 43% of the respondents to a survey saying if given an option after the pandemic, they would work from home permanently.
However, one in three said they preferred the traditional office and would not work from home.
Most respondents (54%) said they used instant messaging platform WhatsApp for communication during lockdown.
Zimbabwe introduced a three-week lockdown at the end of March in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
At the weekend, President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced that he was extending the lockdown by two weeks, meaning it ends on May 3.
Due to the lockdown, many Zimbabweans have been forced to work from home, a new experience for most.
A total of 37% of the respondents said they had received airtime from their employers, enabling them to work from home.
Nine out of 10 of the respondents said they used a laptop while working from home, while 22% said they used their personal mobile phones for work.
But there are some drawbacks which come from working from home, with 27% of the respondents saying they were disturbed by noise from the TV.
Two out of three of the respondents (66.03%) saying they missed the social support they normally get from their colleagues when working from the office.
“What employees miss when working from home differs significantly by the type of company,” the authors of the report said.
“Employees that work in multinational and part-global or part local (73%) miss social support from colleagues as compared to those that work for local firms.”
With the lockdown, production is scaled back and revenues dwindle.
But since the lockdown was implemented at the end of March, the survey unsurprisingly says 91.9% of the respondents got their salaries in full for that month.
However, 1.3% said they got nothing and 1.2% said some of their benefits were removed.
The IPC study polled 604 people, 58,11% of them male and 41,89 female.
So far, Zimbabwe has reported 28 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with four deaths and two recoveries.
Recently, the police have scaled up their presence on the country’s roads to enforce the lockdown and they have been joined by the military.