South Africans were hit with a shocking new wave of corona virus cases as the number of reported people with the virus in the country passes the 10 000 mark. As much as we have been told that despite the lockdown measures the numbers are set to rise, we can’t help but feel overwhelmed each time a press statement is released showing an increase in the number of people found positive with the virus.
The past few weeks have also been a whirlwind of emotions as debate around when schools are set to open dominate the talks around the country. We have also seen scores of people returning to work under lockdown level 4 regulations indicating some sort of normalcy around employment.
As normalcy resumes around workplaces there has been an increase in hygiene and safety to curb the spread of the virus at many offices. This means that whilst many large chain stores have been allowed to operate selling essentials under the lockdown, companies and malls have ensured that no entry will be allowed to people unless they are wearing a mask. There is also mandatory hand sanitizing at the entrance of the stores and the till points. These are crucial steps to ensure the curb in the spread of the virus which has claimed the lives of scores of South Africans.
Now whilst we feel a sense of relief for a few of the industries who have been allowed to operate in level 4 of the lockdown, we are also concerned about those who have not been able to get back on their feet despite the setback.
This means that many people will be coming out of the lockdown without a job. This is one of the economic tremors that the coronavirus is leaving in its wake. Along with this, employees should also brace themselves for a few changes in the organization once cases of the virus decrease.
Economists are warning that since many companies are already retrenching, employees should brace the possibility of salary cuts. Even after surviving the salary cut, we should also be prepared for the possibility that yearly bonuses and incentives will not be made available as this setback from the virus might take us many more months to recover from.
At the same time, the hope of nice break in December also seems slim as many companies might be forced to keep the wheel turning in the festive period to make up for the loss of production time during the lockdown.
This is all just possible indications of what might be solutions to repair the setback of the virus. While it might seem highly unlikely now, it would do good to communicate regularly with management to be in the loop of the issues and solutions to these issues in the business.
There is no telling how the next few months might go but it is important for employees to brace for these changes. The workplace as we know it will be a lot more difficult to navigate in the coming few months. But we must ensure we are positive and motivated that we will give our best in our workspace and provide the best possible services to ensure we are back on top.
Behind the scenes: Devan Moonsamy is the CEO of ICHAF Training Institute. ICHAF offers SETA-approved training in business skills, computer use, and soft skills. Devan specialises in conflict and diversity management, and regularly conducts seminars on these issues for corporates. Tel: 011 262 2461 | Email: [email protected] | Website: ichaftraining.co.za | devan-moonsamy.com