Major ISP with 500 employees ditches Offices and goes fully Remote

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Webafrica, an independent South African ISP, has already closed its Cape Town offices while the Johannesburg office remains open until February next year. Webafrica, an independent South African ISP, has already closed its Cape Town offices while the Johannesburg office remains open until February next year.

A year ago, COVID-19 forced many companies to send employees home — often with a laptop and a prayer. Now, the future is here, and it appears that some things have changed for good.

Webafrica, an independent South African ISP, has pulled the plug on its physical offices, with more than 500 employees working entirely remotely, making it one of the biggest companies in South Africa to do this.

The company closed its Cape Town office on 30 April 2022. Its Johannesburg office will remain open until February 2023.

“The main concern in the decision is how it would affect the staff’s wellbeing and productivity, as well as how it will affect their customer experience,” Webafrica CEO Sean Nourse said.

Webafrica’s offices were open to staff to use during lockdown.

However, they found that very few staff members would choose to come in, leaving the building eerily quiet.

Rather than force staff to return to the office, Nourse said they continuously evaluated the situation and surveyed staff to find out what their preference is.

The overwhelming consensus was that staff found working from home offered far more benefits than returning to the office.

Webafrica provided employees with the equipment they should need to optimally perform their jobs and can do so in the comfort of their own homes.

“Remote working has exceeded our expectations in terms of employee productivity and the savings our staff gain by not travelling to work,” Nourse said.

“On average, by working from home, we save our employees approximately 2.5 hours a day in traffic and with rising petrol costs, remote working drastically reduces the burden of these increases on our staff’s pockets.”

The move also made it easier for staff to tend to family matters.

“If remote working can give our staff that extra time to spend with their children or make family responsibilities easier on them, I’d say it’s definitely worth it,” said Nourse.

Webafrica found that employee productivity increased by 20% and employee happiness, which is measured quarterly, is at an all-time high since moving fully remote.

The company’s recruitment efforts have also benefited from going remote.

Nourse said they are now able to reach a much wider talent pool unrestricted by geographical location.

Webafrica is focusing hiring efforts in areas where customers live to give back to the communities that support them.

According to Nourse, the company has seen exponential growth and currently provides jobs for 510 people across the country.

They hired around 250 new employees since the start of lockdown in 2020.

Webafrica said recruitment will continue throughout the year as its strives to continue providing high-quality support to its rapidly expanding customer base.


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