The COVID-19 Lockdown has taught businesses many things, and here at Webafrica that is no different. In March 2020, like many other South African businesses, Webafrica was forced to change the location of our operations from office-bound to work-from-home (remote) in a matter of days.
Now, two years later, we have made the decision to go fully remote and close the Webafrica Cape Town office on 30 April 2022. The Johannesburg office will remain open until February 2023 and follow suit thereafter. The main concern in the decision is how it would affect the staff’s wellbeing and productivity, as well as how it will affect our customers’ experiences.
“A sizeable proportion of our customers work from home, totally reliant on Webafrica to keep them connected and productive, and as a business, we believe that it is important to put our money where our mouth is. We supply our staff with the same internet connectivity that we offer our customers, and it has kept our company running at an optimal, productive level,” Sean Nourse, Chief Executive Officer of Webafrica says. Webafrica’s Net Promoter Score, a score which measures customer satisfaction, has shot up to a high of 50 over the past two years. For reference, Apple’s score hovers around 55.
Our offices have been open to staff to use during the lockdown period, however, we found that very few staff members would choose to come in, leaving the building eerily quiet. Rather than force staff to return to the office, their wellbeing and input were taken into account over the two years. We continuously evaluated the situation and surveyed our Webafrican family as to what their preference is – to work from home or go into an office. The overwhelming consensus was that staff found working from home held far more benefits than returning to the office. Employees are provided with all equipment they should need to perform their jobs with ease and can do so in the comfort of their own homes.
“Remote working has exceeded our expectations in terms of employee productivity and the savings our staff gain by not travelling to work.”Sean Nourse, Webafrica.
On average, by working from home we save our employees approximately 2.5 hours a day in traffic and with rising petrol costs, remote working drastically reduces the burden of these increases on our staff’s pockets. The move also makes it easier for some to tend to family matters. “If remote working can give our staff that extra time to spend with their children or make family responsibilities easier on them, I’d say it’s definitely worth it,” Nourse explains. Employee productivity has gone up by 20% since moving fully remote and employee happiness (which is measured on a quarterly basis) is at an all-time high.
It’s not only the benefits to current staff that made the decision a wise choice, but also within recruitment drives. We are now able to reach a much wider talent pool that is not being restricted by geographical location. We can focus hiring efforts in areas where customers reside, in order to give back to the communities that support us. We have seen exponential growth and currently provide jobs for 510 people across the country. Since the start of Lockdown in 2020, we have employed around 250 new employees.
“We recognised the economic strain Lockdown has put on many households with the record high unemployment rate in South Africa.”Sean Nourse, Webafrica.
Webafrica is the fastest-growing ISP in the country with over 150 000 customers connected and new products being added monthly. Thus, recruitment will continue throughout the year as we strive to keep giving this rapidly expanding customer base, high-quality support. To view our latest job offers, click here.
The office closure will mark the dawn of a new era at Webafrica. Working remotely will see us place our trust in the same quality internet that we promise to you, our customers – internet that’s fast and reliable to ensure it is business as usual each day, no matter where staff members are working from.
“We encourage other South African businesses to follow suit and embrace the work-from-home movement which is all possible through a high-quality internet connection such as ours,” Nourse closes off.