Collected By Carême Kouamé
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 21st February 2022 -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- The Covid-19 pandemic has undermined economies and dramatically changed the way we work, disrupting labour markets both across the continent and globally.
What the pandemic has done is push both organisations and consumers to adopt new behaviours – some of which are likely to persist. The big question is the extent to which remote working will continue to be adopted.
While remote working was at first highly appealing in the early days of the pandemic and national lockdowns, the cracks soon started to appear as boredom and monotony set in.
The reality is that humans are social creatures and the workplace is, amongst other things, a social environment. Face-to-face engagements and chats around the coffee machine provide a sense of belonging that the digital world of Zoom and Skype just cannot replace. There is an energy found in the workplace that is not replicated when working from home and a level of creativity that results from spontaneous collaboration.
As restrictions have been eased, many organisations have allowed their employees to return to work. Others have adopted a hybrid system of both in-office and remote working. However, key to any return to work has been the need for staff to be vaccinated, to protect both themselves and their colleagues.
Some countries have ruled that being vaccinated against Covid-19 is mandatory for employees working in certain sectors. Kenya, for example, ruled in 2021 that public service employees must have had at least one vaccination. Other countries, including Ghana, have ruled that health workers must be vaccinated.
As employees return to the workplace, opportunities to attend conferences and events, for example, will only be accessible to those who are fully vaccinated. International travel has already opened up for those who are fully vaccinated.
Bertrand from Cote d’Ivoire was working on a large-scale climate project for an international African organisation when the client requested that he attend COP26. “Fortunately, I had already had two doses of the vaccine and was able to attend,” he explains. “The trip proved to be a great opportunity to meet people who are crucial to my career and business. I’m very relieved that I did not miss out on attending this event – as I would have done had I not been vaccinated.
“The lesson I learned from this experience is that it’s better to be proactive. Work opportunities aside, the Covid-19 vaccine protects against severe forms of the disease and offers the best and most reliable way to eradicating the pandemic and getting life back to a semblance of normality,” he says.
Distributed by African Media Agency(AMA).
This article is part of a series on vaccination in Africa brought to you by Africa CDC in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation under the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative — a $1.5 billion partnership that is enabling access to Covid-19 vaccinations, and long-term health security, for Africa.