Dramatic increase in remote working in South Africa

Remote working doesn´t lead to less productivity or motivation. According to a recent study by Michael Page it has the opposite effect, as many professionals in South Africa who work from home report that they are more motivated, productive and satisfied than before.

Around 63% of South Africa based professionals say their productivity increased while working from home, with 31% sharing that their productivity stayed the same even after transitioning into the remote work set up due to the pandemic. 

Remote working also didn´t lead to less motivation, on the contrary, more than 50% of employees in South Africa felt even more motivated and 41% saying their motivation levels stayed the same. 

Employees are equally positive about their job satisfaction: 41% percent of job applicants in South Africa were just as satisfied with their work as they were before the lockdown, with 46% of them feeling even more satisfied. 

Most of the respondents (82%) said they adopted flexible start/finish hours during their workdays, with 87% sharing also that they did not reduce their working hours. 

The lockdown resulted in the one of the biggest flexible work experiments in history, and according to professionals who took the survey, the remote work experience was more than successful. In fact, 54% of job applicants based in South Africa visiting our website say that they feel as committed as before given the way their current employer managed their workforce during the lockdown, and 28% feeling even more committed than before. 




Employees desire a blend of remote and office-based work

The world of flexible work is calling. 83% of our respondents expect that one of the most significant outcomes of the COVID crisis would be that companies will implement flexible work policies, such as opportunities to work remotely or to have flexible schedules, provide devices and so on. 74% also think that there will be more respect for certain job roles (healthcare workers, retail workers, teachers, etc.). 58% think that there will be more environmental awareness. 

71% of job applicants think that working remotely will be more important than before at the companies they are currently employed with. Having said that, even if they had the choice, many employees would still come to the office for a part of the working week. 37% would choose to work remotely for 2 days and 33% for 1 day a week, while 53% are looking at 3 or 4 days a week as an ideal work from home arrangement.

Apart from salary, culture and career growth as pivotal consideration points for candidates considering switching into new positions, top talent will also consider what flexible work arrangements companies can offer. Now more than ever, candidates need to be convinced they are making the right decision for themselves and their family.

Julien Raze, Director, Michael Page Africa


Remote working increased dramatically 

The question is if the companies will listen to their employees and grant their wish to work more from home than they used to do before the crisis. Because remote working was not all that common before, COVID forced companies to implement flexible work policies. According to the study, only 26% of our respondents in South Africa had the freedom to work from home before the crisis. 

Due to the lockdown, the number of employees working remotely increased dramatically. 79% of the respondents worked remotely. The only people not working from home were those without a job, or with the sort of job that didn´t allow for remote working, for example in a warehouse or store-based roles.


About the survey

For over a little bit more than a month, Michael Page surveyed approximately 200 professionals and job applicants based in South Africa visiting our website, to try and understand the effect the COVID crisis had on their personal and professional lives, the support they got from their company and what they did to make the best of the situation. 

If you would like to learn more about the candidate sentiment about the current job market, you can access our quarterly survey results. If your organization is hiring, you can learn more about our recruitment services. Job seekers and professionals can apply for relevant positions we are currently recruiting in South Africa

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