The work-from-home policy has been quite new and strange to many, both corporates and employees. Defining it as strange may be owed largely to the fact that a huge population in Kenya are manual labourers who are actually required to work at workshops or warehouses.
So, you wouldn’t necessarily expect one to carry a ton of equipment home for work to commence. It is also a huge reason why most Kenyans are still not adhering to the recommendation from the WHO and the Kenyan government.
But we also cannot deny the fact that a majority of employees that can easily work remotely have had to follow the new structure. This has also affected a number of retail store employees as well as those who depend on commission like salespeople.
So what happens to them now that there is little to no work for them? Are they still compensated in any way?
Recently, Facebook was reportedly planning to give a KES 100,000 bonuses to every employee to help them amid the ongoing outbreak. The pandemic has, of course, led to most if not all big companies to shut down their offices and have those employees that can work from home to do so.
But this bonus cuts across all professions. Whether it is for that programmer at home with their laptop or that engineer or technician that can no longer go to the field and work normally.
More to that, each of the company’s nearly 45,000 employees will also be getting an “exceeds” rating for their first six-month review of 2020 (this means that their performance rating will be marked as exceeding expectations). This could lead to big bonuses that can help the employees further during the pandemic.
And yes, Facebook is a big company that is capable of much more than that, but that’s not the point. The situation at hand seems to be getting worse for most countries, both developing or developed.
More companies in Kenya are likely to have to conform to the work-from-home policy in weeks to come but what happens to the employees?
As of now, no company in the country has been reported to have some sort of compensation plan during the outbreak. But we sure do hope that the pandemic is contained in time but that will have to be done by everyone following the necessary guidelines.