Two years ago, the City of Joburg presented its revised Smart City Strategy 2019/21, which anchored the city as a “city that is economically competitive, addresses its critical threats more efficiently and becomes attractive as a liveable and sustainable city." Over the past few months with the election of the multi-party leadership governing the City of Joburg, the City has hinted that it was getting ready to become a city of the future with the council having recently approved the Multi-Party Government’s Hybrid Working Policy, which it says is the first of its kind for any city or government in South Africa.
McKinnley Mitchell, for the office of the MMC for Group Corporate and Shared Services spokesperson says the Hybrid Working Policy is centred on the pillars of international best practice with aims to increase productivity and morale of employees while reducing costs and the carbon footprint generated by the City of Joburg. This is in line with the Executive Mayor’s priorities of ensuring that Joburg is a city that gets the basics right and aims to become a well-run smart city for residents.
Mitchell says to achieve these priorities, the city needs to professionalise itself and bring in a professional and efficient staff complement where employees are the engine of the city.
“We want to strengthen Joburg’s status as an employer of choice – allowing us to attract the best and brightest. This policy will allow those employees who are not required on the front line of service delivery to execute their daily responsibilities with flexibility as they contribute towards Joburg’s Golden Repair,” Mitchell said in a statement by the city.
“To attract and retain the very best talent, it has become important to recognise the fast-changing global landscape of work/life balance for all employees. The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated existing work to achieve these goals and introduced the “new normal” for the entire world. We benchmarked our policy on local and international companies with similar employee numbers in the banking and technology sectors, which found that the implementation of such a policy will decrease carbon footprints, reduce traffic congestion, and realise savings from property rentals and other associated costs with these buildings, such as IT infrastructure and security services,“ Mitchell added.
Mitchelle says the City of Joburg will will now go on a proactive assessment of all corporate buildings to determine the optimum space requirements of its workforce, which can then be equipped as the office of the future with hot desks, breakaway rooms, and dynamic spaces that can increase collaborative efforts in a bid to break down the silo effect that blocks productivity across the city’s metropolitan areas.