Africa: How Covid-19 Changed the Way the World Works

The ‘work-from-home’ culture has reshaped urban geography, particularly in the services sector, as companies abandon office blocks and daily commutes.

When Covid-19 bit in March, the world of work changed forever. This is true of factories, mines and retailers which, when they reopened, had to adapt operations to shifts and had to accommodate new sanitisation and isolation methods in the workplace.

But these changes pale when compared to the massive shift in how the service industry operates. Covid-19 caused businesses to initiate change that might have otherwise taken a generation.

The disruption caused by digital innovation, which created the “gig economy” and changed everything from the way news, movies and music was consumed to how goods were stored and sold, was already entrenched when Covid-19 struck.

What the disease has done is force businesses in the service sector to abandon office towers and send employees home to work remotely through fast internet or phone connections.

This change was already on the cards but was stuck in the inertia created by long-term leases and the fact that organisations were headed by people with work habits going back decades – habits which included the daily commute and having employees clocking in and…

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