ICT Clinic (Punch Newspaper)

COVID-19 and co-working spaces [ICT Clinic]

Africa is faced with loads of challenges that cannot be solved by the wave of a magic wand or the hocus-pocus performed on the soapbox by politicians in their bid to garner votes and win elections. The problems are deeply rooted and numerous. It will take a great deal of vision, focus, hard work, dedication, self-sacrifice, with massive adoption and deployment of technology as well as human capital development before the continent starts moving forward.

The global spread of the deadly coronavirus caught many African countries napping, forcing many of them to emulate the more advanced countries in initiating lockdown protocols, which ensured that people stayed at home and maintained social distancing, in order to contain the spread of the virus.

African countries could, however, not match the palliatives extended by the developed countries to their citizens for several reasons but that is a story for another day. Aside from the fact that many Africans could not have access to palliatives from their governments during the period the lockdown lasted, many businesses were also closed as directed by the authorities.

Many companies that were able to key their business processes into technology before now, switched to working from home while data and sometimes, fuel for running generators were provided to these workers by their employees.

The work at home concept worked well in the western world and in some parts of Asia because they have a working system and have invested massively in technology. The work from home concept is not a new thing for them as they have been gradually shifting to this sphere but it is not the case in Africa, especially, in Sub-Sahara Africa, where the adoption of technology, is still on the low side.

In many cases, having their employees work from home assisted many businesses to keep running during the lockdown. This has started to generate views in certain quarters that post-COVID-19, many employees of businesses will start to work from home instead of commuting to/from their office locations, every day.

One argument that caught my attention and which I intend to touch on today is one that is making the rounds that there might be no need for utilising the services provided by co-working spaces post-COVID-19. In deciding whether this could hold true or not, one needs to put a lot of things into perspective.

Many small-scale businesses and start-ups are the major clients that use co-working facilities because the prices are affordable as they are unable to afford to rent large office spaces.

Working from home is good, no doubt, as it gives one the flexibility of attending to tasks without having to worry about commuting to/from a physical location. However, working from home too, like everything in life, has its advantages and disadvantages while the benefits of working from a co-working space cannot also be discountenanced.

One of the attributes of working from a co-working space is that it is, — Finish Reading on the Punch

About the author

Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr

CFA hosts Tech Trends on Channels Television, writes the ICT Column in the Punch Newspapers & also blogs on cfagbata.com.

CFA currently serves as the African Regional Director of Founder Institute.

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