‘Business Class Productivity’ filtering-out dinosaur employers in East Africa

July 10, 2013

The latest research indicates that technological innovation in East Africa in the past five years has introduced a rich mobility and device options for a good number of job creators in the region to consider for their workforces. ‘Business class productivity’ is about enhancing productivity by using appropriate technology to harness an evolving workforce and its potential. The evolving workforce and business culture in East Africa is expected to drive new ways of working and significantly contribute to employee demands. Eventually, organizations in the region will have the ability to provide levels of technology choice that drives flexibility and productivity as well as secure, manageable and reliable business tools. Unlike in the past, region’s good number of workers no longer go to work on 8am – 5pm basis as young and trendy workers focus on what they do and how productive they are regardless of time or location. Mobile work-styles are well established in East Africa with most blue chip organizations having already adopted it fully and many others are expected to embrace the culture in the next few years.

To ensure growth, workers in the region should be empowered with the right tools to get their job done in a more efficient and flexible way, regardless of time and location. For example, an MTN engineer can work from his Entebbe home instead of enduring the 35km journey to the capital Kampala. Another example is where a Vodacom employee can work from her comfort in Mikocheni instead of driving to and from Mlimani city based Vodacom head office. Business class productivity needs an evolving work force and technology innovations. The region employers are witnessing evolution of their workforce largely driven by innovations and development of new technologies. As high-end technology become increasingly commoditized and widely available, East Africans have become tech-savvy than ever before.  It is a great opportunity for businesses in East Africa to harness a new productive, efficient and evolved workforce in a secure, manageable and reliable way. In order to achieve that, businesses should not risk failure by sticking to outdated technology, policies and procedures.

Businesses especially those in service sectors need to appreciate and pick the most appropriate new technology to offer employees the choice of the right tools to get their job done in the most flexible way. By embracing the trend, businesses in the region have minimized cost and disruption to the business of losing and hiring staff. Research conducted in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark last years showed that employees who are were not well equipped with the right tools to do their work in a flexible way ended up being demotivated and sought jobs elsewhere for satisfaction. Gone are the days when workers will be forced to work in a set location well known as “our office” and long buried are the inflexible company technologies that are now outdated. They used to act as an ingredient for de-motivation of staff and even I recall while working back home in Australia we considered them as restrictive. Retaining and attracting talent is significant business benefit and competitive advantage and to maintain that employers must provide employees with the right tools to do their job anytime, anywhere. Truly, it’s the end of tech allergic generation.

Contador Harrison