Remote Working: An Opportunity For South African Workers?

In the modern era, more and more people are starting to work from home or remotely. This figure has increased so drastically that it is believed that by 2020, more than half the workforce could be remote workers. In South Africa, the number of remote workers has risen by 8% since 2015. Slower than the international average, but still on the rise.

This is ideal for a number of employees, who find the rigmarole of heading into the office a bit of a drag. Rushing to get up and run to a packed train is not the ideal scenario for a number of people, so working from home could provide the perfect lifestyle balance. A lot of people in traditional employment sectors, just can’t see how they could do their role from home. This is true in many cases. But for a number of skilled workers in the South African workforce, there may be opportunities to leave the daily grind behind and forge a new career path.  

Unemployment On the Rise

The reality is that unemployment has increased once more across the country. It was announced this morning that for the third quarter in a row, even more employees lost their jobs. Over the last year 83,000 South African were made redundant, thus exacerbating the unemployment crisis.  It is easy to wallow in the mire here, especially if you are one of the unlucky ones, but when a door closes there is potential for another one to open.

There has been a significant shift in employment sectors in recent years worldwide. For instance, a new trend has developed seeing more and more workers shift into emerging markets. It is true that more South Africans are being made unemployed, however, it is significant to note that with remote, online working more opportunities are becoming available.

Transferable Skills?

The recent statistics also suggest that nearly 2,000 teachers may well be made redundant. Despite this being denied by some quarters, the outlook does look bleak for this and other skilled sectors. The reality is that many roles require their employees to have a number of transferable skills that can be used in other areas. Let’s take a teacher for example. In an average day, the modern educator may have to plan, teach, mark, deal with physical incidents, be a counselor or support service, the list goes on. Being able to undertake these duties as part of the day job, mean that skills such as time-management, people skills, networking, using ICT, are all second nature.  These skills could easily be used to start a new career path or learn a new skill that could improve your CV or portfolio.

New Opportunities?

For those who have been made unemployed, taking on new roles and opportunities have been forced upon them. Why not get ahead of the game and start learning new skills and give yourself some new knowledge and a slight edge over your competitors? Many online schools now teach remotely and provide the student with accredited qualifications (sometimes even a degree). In addition, you will have hands-on experience and also an opportunity to grow your portfolio. You could also find a new career path that you love and enjoy, that gives your life an extra bit of creativity and flair. For instance, you might try your hand at training in game design or animation. The pay is pretty good too, with an experienced animator earning in excess of 650000 Rand, in some countries. A game designer will earn in excess of this.

The face of modern work is continually changing. Those who have the versatility and acumen to keep abreast of developments and pick up new skills and qualifications, are likely to be successful and achieve the working life they want. With more roles being outsourced remotely and on a freelance basis, the working world appears far more positive and full of potential.