COVID-19, the employee and an evolving workplace

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed life as we know it. Various sectors have been affected, at the forefront of it, are healthcare providers. Activities in all industries have slowed down, on the contrary, the healthcare industry has had to operate to its ultimate capacity, one could even say, to a capacity larger than realistically possible. With the increase of positive COVID-19 cases, there has also been an increase in recoveries, this is evidence that healthcare workers have been working relentlessly. There is no debating that healthcare workers have had to operate under extreme pressure.

If COVID-19 has proven anything, it is the notion that business going forward will not be as usual! Unwittingly COVID-19 has sped up an evolution in the way South Africa Inc. operates. Employment/Industry 4.0 is here, it has landed abruptly, pushing companies to the heart of an employment paradigm shift.

The Confederation of Associations in the Private Employment Sector (CAPES) confirms a shift in work dynamics in the healthcare sector, this will fundamentally affect the employment market, changing the “how we employ” landscape for both the private and public sectors. What will Employee expectations be?

Under the effects of COVID-19, employment needs are shaped by two factors: The growing adoption of technology in the workplace, and the expansion of the workforce to include both on- and off-balance-sheet talent (a term coined by Deloitte). Where feasible, employees have been required to work remotely and to implement work from home policies. Despite the increased workload for healthcare employees, employers have been legislated to respect family circumstances and accept that schedules need to be flexible. This has highlighted the important role of Temporary Employment Services (TES).

Lifelong employment is phasing out, with the concept of command and control relationships leaning to the obsolete. Flexibility is the key to meeting the demand without compromising the mental health of employees. Employees may want to organise their working time according to the new circumstances with tailor-made working conditions.

In September 2016, the World Employment Confederation produced a white paper on the “future of work” outlining a new reality for the working environment. The points raised in the white paper are mirrored with the reality of the employment market today, the main points are:

  • Growing individual expectations and diverse working conditions
  • The end of unified workplaces, times and activities
  • The emergence of multifaceted and discontinuous career paths
  • Increasing interconnections between work and private life
  • The end of static and predictable labour markets

Healthcare: Why Temporary Employment Servies (TES) matter

It all lies in the flexibility of TES. Using registered temporary employment agencies improves the productivity of the workplace by keeping staffing levels optimal while ensuring employees are not overworked. Workspace models need to change, and currently, things are changing almost daily due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many healthcare service providers have shown that companies can navigate the pressures of costs versus output by introducing TES.

Building a successful working culture with temporary employment will help companies stay relevant in rapidly changing economic times while satisfying the changing needs of the employees. AHASA TES Agencies are helping companies in South Africa reach a win-win solution when it comes to employment and productivity. Now is the time to look to TES and the many benefits this industry and its services has to offer to businesses and organisation.

For further information on temporary employment companies aligned to either CAPES or AHASA please visit www.capes.org.za and www.ahasa.org.