‘SA may see a permanent return to office in 2023’

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Labour expert, Osborne Molatudi says rolling blackouts are forcing South African companies to reverse the work-from-home trend that many resorted to during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many businesses and office workers have adopted hybrid work models.

However,  severe rolling blackouts are making it difficult for employees to be productive at home.

Offices equipped with backup power solutions are pulling employees back.

Molatudi says unlike the rest of the world, South Africa may see a more permanent return to the office in 2023 .

He says, “On the basis of the practical challenges that are faced by many employees country-wide because of load shedding and other related factors, an employer would be perfectly within his/her right to require that employees return to the office full-time.”

“In some instances, the employer may engage with employees to form some sort of working committee, to assess whether there is a need to return to office full-time or perhaps do it by way of hybrid. But, as matters stand, any employee would be well advised not ignore the employer’s instruction to return to the office full-time, unless that employee has valid reasons not to do so,” Molatudi adds.

On Sunday, Eskom announced  it will be implementing Stage 4 rolling blackouts until further notice.