Working From Home? Will 2022 see a Move Back to the Office or is Remote Work a Benefit for Both Staff and Employers?
The pandemic transition to remote work comes with profound positives for employers and employees. One report found that employers are saving as much as $22,000 per full-time remote employee by shedding office-related costs. For workers in low-income countries—especially those in the rapidly growing professional class in sub-Saharan Africa—the unmooring of skilled jobs from physical locations offer unfettered access to previously unavailable opportunities. But it also accentuates their disadvantages relative to their peers in high-income countries, chiefly around compensation and labour protection. Employers justify lower salaries as “location pay” determined by a lower cost of living.
In Africa, most skilled workers live in large cities that provide the infrastructure they need to work remotely – such as stable electricity high-speed internet and mobile broadband. According to QUARTZ AFRICA, that means the actual cost of living for an urban professional in Lagos, South Africa, or Nairobi is getting closer to their contemporaries doing the same job in cities where multinationals are headquartered, and at the very least, the differences do not justify salaries five to ten times below wealthy country rates.
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