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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

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The Great Resignation and how it is reshaping employee relations

The last two years of hybrid and remote working arrangements for many skilled office employees have given them a taste of a different life – a life outside an office, where family commitments, broader interests and side hustles can be juggled in a way that completely revamps prior concepts of ‘work-life balance’. Picture: Chris Collingridge

The last two years of hybrid and remote working arrangements for many skilled office employees have given them a taste of a different life – a life outside an office, where family commitments, broader interests and side hustles can be juggled in a way that completely revamps prior concepts of ‘work-life balance’. Picture: Chris Collingridge

Published Feb 3, 2022

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Talks of the ‘great resignation’ have been rising since the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the chief executive of earned wage access group Paymenow, Deon Nobrega, 2022 is shaping up to be a year of reckoning where employees and organisations both determine what is important for them and how they can continue to work together.

Nobrega says the last two years of hybrid and remote working arrangements for many skilled office employees have given them a taste of a different life – a life outside an office, where family commitments, broader interests and side hustles can be juggled in a way that completely revamps prior concepts of ‘work-life balance’.

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For Nobrega, there are two trends that are clear for South Africa in 2022. “The last two years have demonstrated beyond doubt that productivity does not depend on time in an office. Not having to commute and allowing employees to manage their own time has almost always proved to equal if not exceed, previous productivity output,” he said.

The chief executive said the on demand-economy has also been changing the way in which people are being paid, with a decrease in the conventional payday cycles and rise in people being paid per job while organisations are being forced to relook their salary payment structures to retain their employees at the risk of losing them to the more attractive fluid work environments.

“Having access to funds throughout the month helps to alleviate financial stress and uncertainty, thereby helping to retain job satisfaction, reduced absenteeism and overall employee wellbeing. This has rapidly evolved the need for organisations to incorporate more fluid payment structure solutions for their employees.”

He cites Earned Wage Access (EWA) - which allows employees to have access to their earned wages through the earning cycle and not just at pay-day for making waves in the on-demand economy and proving to be the solution for many organisations, particularly in the retail, security and mining space.

Paymenow’s head of business development, Bryan Habana, said earned wage access aligns neatly with the development of the gig economy and ‘side hustles’ in general.

“The new paradigm in our economy and elsewhere is that jobs or projects can be completed, and remuneration follows. From that point of view, there is nothing unusual about being able to access payment for work completed outside of regimented payment cycles,” said Habana.

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Habana said most of the great resignation discussion has centred on highly skilled workers, but the trends are reshaping the lower-income workforce segment too.

“Greater use of technology in the workplace is establishing a learning culture as a priority, raising skills levels and even creating new jobs thanks to greater involvement in the gig economy. What is important for us as an earned wage access company is that financial literacy has become a key issue for employers.”

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE

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