Is Working From Home In PNG Tangible?
BY MELISHA YAFOI
No one expected that the whole world would be brought to its knees in 2020 by a deadly virus- the Covid-19 pandemic.
As such the concept of flexible working hours or working from home in practice only existed for few corporate and development partners. And by this I mean in terms of resources, time, and platforms and essentially in the operational procedures of their human resources department, especially in the case for firms in Papua New Guinea.
The last time the world experienced a large global pandemic was in 1918 in the form of the Spanish Flu which killed between 20 to 100 million, apart from others within the last 120 years.This was when the world was a very different place to live in.
While it is a health issue, it has quickly become a global economic crisis because a vaccine has yet to be identified. Economist and PNG Institute of National Affairs executive director Paul Barker says, “The greater controls the greater interference with the economy that is jeopardising livelihoods of the citizens.”
Businesses all over the world are being affected. In order to adapt businesses shifted to the work from home culture.
PNG is no different, since last week all major corporate, public service and small businesses in the country started introducing a skeleton staffing system, retaining key essential staff to ensure the business continues.
This is something that has never been done before in PNG.
For PNG, only a minority can work from home. They are positioned well to continue operations but providing the systems and tools to make it work.
While few may enjoy working from the comfort of their homes they are all faced with the reality- Working from home in PNG in essence looks really good on paper.
And here is why? Many lack the necessary resources and technology to deliver expected results.
Many in the formal sector in Port Moresby and other big cities in the country reside in settlements and go to work and issues of power outage, noise pollution and access to cheap reliable internet remains a challenge and can test their patience to say the least.
The millennial are versed about the availability of the different options technology has provided to make work easier when working from home but not for the traditional workers in the work force who will still feel the need to travel back and forth to the office.
Mr Barker said while the situation provides a stimulus to do much more online, local trading still requires physical presence.
Overseas schools and colleges have substantially shifted to online studies during this period, and many offices from traders, to professionals, to media are operating or broadcasting from living rooms.
Three small business entrepreneurs in the retail space who currently work from home say while they enjoy working from home they still need to meet with clients and customers to deliver products.
Those in the hospitality businesses have clearly let staff go as a result.
A senior teacher from Gerehu Primary school says she is unable to give extra work for her students whilst being at home during the lockdown hence will have to wait for further instructions from the Department of Education.
But let’s see the realities as a Papua New Guinean.
Culturally the demands of being a parent, husband, or an overweight wife will definitely rob you of your productivity.
So here is my advice to you, to remain calm, explore and explain this new frenzy to your family and be frank and upfront with your employers from the beginning to avoid disappointments and ensure “business continuity”.
Continue reading athttps://postcourier.com.pg/is-working-from-home-in-png-tangible/|Post Courier