Written by 9:47 pm Food

#BTEditorial – Working from home actually works

Over the past two to a few years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the favored refrain was that COVID has taught us there are a lot of ways to get things done, if only we’re prepared to adapt.

It seems a lot of those lessons are fading fast from our reality, because the COVID-19 pandemic fears fades.

The food delivery service took off through the lockdowns and COVID-19 restrictions. Though all of us welcome the chance to return to dining out, the delivery service of restaurants has evolved as a very important segment of the core activities.

An examination of the successes with home delivery by local fast-food chain Chefette and its most important competitor KFC, can be instructive.

Supermarkets and stores have added the convenience of online shopping and delivery options to customers. The extent of commerce going down online in Barbados forces us to finally acknowledge that Barbadians have decidedly turned the corner on most of their fears about Web or electronic-based transactions.

The typical man on the road has now accepted that the world by which we operate has modified significantly over the past 36 months. The reticence that we demonstrated towards accessing goods and services outside of the brick and mortar facilities have dissipated significantly.

This transition has been so pervasive that enterprises operating store fronts are complaining that online businesses operating from homes were presenting an unfair competition because they don’t bear a lot of overhead costs.

Against this backdrop, one must ask why the country’s largest single employer, the Government of Barbados, and a few private entities, rushed to full in-person operations.

It’s our assessment there was an undue haste to dismantle the successes of working from home or hybrid work arrangements.

We accept that not every operation of Government or the private sector will be delivered from home. Nevertheless, those that will be and have been successfully provided through this selection, should proceed.

Many private sector firms, having understood the advantages of allowing employees to proceed, no less than a hybrid work arrangement, have seen the advantages.

The Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited (ICBL) and a variety of international business firms and agencies, for instance, proceed to have interaction employees with the work-from-home option.

Recently, ICBL sought to survey its clients on the standard of service delivery. Sagicor Life has recently offered the choice of securing life insurance coverage completely online.

From utilities, to insurance, groceries and dinner will be accessed without spending $3.50 in bus fare or add one other vehicle to our busy streets.

Work-from-home and hybrid arrangements have been made much more attractive no less than to employees due to the rising cost of petrol.

Government’s announcement over the weekend that gas and diesel prices were inching even closer to $5 per litre has made working from home a serious consideration.

Because the administration maintains its position that wage increases mustn’t be pursued presently, something has to provide. Employees who work in central locations but live in rural districts are going to be particularly disadvantaged in the event that they drive or rely upon someone to take them to work.

Effectively, every increase in gas price, is a success to employees’ pay cheques. There may be also a serious knock-on effect on prices. Supermarkets and wholesalers who’ve promised to maintain down the associated fee of many basic food and consumer items may even be facing increased energy and related costs.

Can they honour that promise on prices until 2023 or will they should shift those increased costs to other items? These are vital questions that should be answered.

Jim Clifton, chairman of the American corporation Gallup Inc. and a former board chairman of DuPont and Bank of America recently wrote there have been 125 million full-time employees in america. And of those, some 56 per cent or about 70 million said they’ll do their office jobs remotely.

He added that of those employees, 30 per cent said they didn’t want to return into the office anymore and preferred to be fully distant employees. Some 60 per cent said they wanted a hybrid arrangement, and only ten per cent preferred to work fully on-site.

Clifton said the reply rests with training managers to be effective within the earn a living from home environment and be sure that productivity is maintained while keeping employees engaged and satisfied on this new arrangement. That is advice price considering.

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