South Africans are working longer hours- Survey

CAPE TOWN- A local survey has revealed that over half of South Africans reported an increase in working hours and a third saw an increase in quality of their work as a consequence of working from home in line with the Covid-19 national lockdown regulations.

Business Director at The Human Edge, Helene Vermaak, says “as the lockdown continues, there is no doubt that this number will see a steep increase”. 

The corporate cultural company based in Gauteng conducted a survey during the lockdown which revealed that 64% of participants believe the pandemic is causing financial struggles for their households. 


Around 45% of respondents said they are greatly concerned about their organisations being equipped to face Covid-19 threats, especially from a financial perspective. This could be adding to the concern and anxiety South Africans are feeling about the future.

South African businesses responded quickly to employees having to work from home with 79% of the respondents saying their organisations supported and enabled the process.  

However, Vermaak says that what is concerning is that only 51% of respondents feel that their colleagues are able to raise issues of a sensitive nature relating to lockdown challenges.  

Here are some insights gained from the survey:

  • 83% of the respondents reported they were required to work remotely
  • 72% reported increase of hours having to work alone
  • 52% reported an increase in working hours
  • 31% an increase in quality of their work as a consequence of working from home
  • 33% an increase in frequency of manager feedback
  • 29% an increase in coworker engagement
  • 24% an increase in hours spent engaging with clients

Vermaak says that despite the above results being positive for organisations, she is concerned that leaders and individuals are not taking into account the additional pressure and anxiety that this virus has brought into our lives.  “It is now more than ever of utmost importance to find and maintain a balance.” 

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