Demanding bosses, more family time: How remote working has impacted workers

With some having kids, household duties, bosses who demand their attention even after office hours and cutting on travel expenses - people's experiences vary from person to person.


JOHANNESBURG - Before South Africa went into a national lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus, working from home or remote working seemed like an impossibility or a distant dream for many employers who primarily use the internet for their work.

But, with the world facing something it never had before in this generation, unprecedented situations called for unprecedented measures.

Many had to resort to working from home as offices were not allowed to be accessed during the hard lockdown that started in March last year.

As South Africa moves closer to marking a full year since the first positive COVID-19 case was detected, some employees are yet to return to their offices, meaning they have been working remotely for about nine months.

With some having kids, household duties, bosses who demand their attention even after office hours and cutting on travel expenses - people's experiences vary from person to person.

Eyewitness News readers shared how they are finding working from home and whether it has worked in their favour or not.

My wife gave birth a week before lockdown. The thought of her going back to work and coming home at 7 pm was very stressful. Now she's working from home and it's such a blessing. No 1h30min trips home. She finishes work and walks straight into the TV room.

Pitso Mokoena

Working from home has been fine. The only negative is that bosses and colleagues seem to believe that you are available 24/7 and don't know how to distinguish between office hours and person's private time. This seems to have become the new normal.

Isabel Kelly

At first, it was a bit challenging as this was all new to us, adjusting to a new system of working. As time went by, I got comfortable and able to juggle personal time with work duties. It was fun, but now I'm sick and tired of it because only a few of us are working remotely and exhaustion is taking its toll on me. I don't get to enjoy my annual leave days and am working under a lot of pressure with minimum resources.

Tinyiko Mabone

My hubby works from home. It's good for us. Less driving around, so we save lots of money and more work is done when you are not being watched like a hawk.

Kinga Dale

I hate it. I'm in the medical sales field. A lot of my work depends on dealing with customers directly. This working at home and on the telephone is driving me to drink.

Mondli Msomi

I'm working from home since June 2020. I used to enjoy it, but it just seems like the workload has doubled and is more stressful. I actually told my branch manager today that I want to go back. I also miss the interaction between coworkers.

Tannitha Notrem

I don't have to spend R3,000 on petrol, sit in traffic for two hours a day. So I'm very much appreciating working from home, having extra family time and preparing proper meals for the family. The only problem is getting fat! I pop into the office every so often to stay in touch and keep in touch with my colleagues on video calls. Works for me.

Rehana Reid-Chothia

Working from home. I'm hating it. I miss my co-workers and office life. My mom is in hospital. We spent the first day of 2021 in a hospital parking lot. This is not the new year I envisioned but I'm hoping it will get better. I will just keep going and not lose hope.

Ronel Ludick

At home since March 2020 - Love it! Only problem is getting briefed on work at 9 pm for a 9 am deadline. This is the abuse I see happening around me. Different if you are freelancing and working for yourself. I don't mind setting unrealistic deadlines on my own terms!

Aliki Dimitriadis

I really miss seeing all my colleagues, we had a great workspace with open plan office and quite a big office. I enjoyed going in each day.

Chanele Jenkinson

I hate working from home. Too many distractions and investment into office equipment that I'll probably ditch when it's all over (if it happens). I've also gained quite some weight and the employer is more demanding in terms of time sheets.

Ndururani Chaiyo

Funny how I started my career with the pandemic but I'm enjoying working from home. I get to spend more time with my partner and daughter than being stuck in traffic every afternoon.

Katlego Kate

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.