There is overwhelming evidence that the prevalence of COVID 19 has necessitated a paradigm shift in the manner to which businesses now operate globally.

The world is leaving nothing to chance in taking preventative measures to prevent the spreading of COVID 19 that includes sanitising hands, avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth as well as social distancing as recommended by the World Health Organisation.

It is the need to affect successful social distancing and self-isolation that many companies including Google, Microsoft, Twitter,Hitachi, Apple, Amazon. Chevron, Salesforce, Spotify from the UK to the US, Japan to South Korea have rolled out mandatory work-from-home policies amid the spread of COVID-19.

Companies in Zimbabwe have also adopted the new normal of compelling employees to work from home at a time the country is on lockdown to tame the spreading of the virus.

It is yet to be seen whether companies are set to continue operating virtually even after coronavirus upon the realisation that perhaps all what they   needed was data and a laptop for its employees who can execute their jobs at the comfort of their homes.

Some businesses are likely to be tempted to adopt the business culture of utilising digital platforms as a permanent solution to shrug off certain expenses.

Consequently companies will end up cutting overheads such as rentals, electricity, water and transport costs where applicable.

As such meetings can be done on Whatsapp, Skype, Zoom among other social media applications.

Companies and organisations will now be forced to embrace ICT as a means of communications.

As no more public gatherings including meetings forces companies to use the likes of Zoom.As more and more people are working from home there is going to more homes connected to the internet than ever before .

Some companies could see that they don’t need offices anymore that will now be an important necessary cost

It is a wakeup call for authorities to provide sufficient infrastructure to drive the online businesses and economic growth.

Zimbabwe’ economic driver is ICT and money should be used to capacitance the shortfalls of our infrastructure. There is no better time than ever to force mobile network operators to share their infrastructure than ever. This is the best time for suppliers to be innovative and provide their products and services directly to their customers.

COVID 19 pandemic has transformed the old ways of doing business and has pushed innovations and use of high-tech strategies for firms to survive.The informal sector to come up with ways to push their products through digital platforms.

With firms in the retail sector such as Simbisa Brands have embraced technology as they have launched dial a delivery to meet their markets demand .However there is need to relook at the cost of Data in Zimbabwe which is costly compared to other countries in the region,” he said.

Worryingly the structure of Zimbabwe’s corporate mould will make it difficult for companies to have virtual workplaces.

Most corporates use closed networks & have centralised planning etc. Virtual workplaces will need better infrastructure in terms of data, connectivity & work tools.

In a survey of 7,000 workers last year by FlexJobs, 65% said they’re more productive working from home, citing benefits like fewer interruptions from colleagues, minimal office politics and reduced stress from commuting.//END

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