Ipsos, a multinational market research company, conducted an online survey over two days in May which had 751 respondents.
The aim of the survey was to find out how the pandemic affected the respondents’ lives and how they adapted to the “new normal”.
Ipsos service line lead Stella Fleetwood said the survey revealed some participants worked less than 40 hours per week.
“The survey revealed 36% of employees worked less than 40 hours per week. In post-pandemic adjusted levels, that number increased to 47% working fewer than 40 hours a week,” she said.
Fleetwood said the survey revealed some participants took frequent breaks.
“We also see 55% of participants taking frequent breaks as part of the routine and 67% spending time doing domestic chores, as well as errands, during work hours,” she said.
Ipsos participant Naledi Nqamela said working from home had a negative effect on her mental health.
“I am faced with the four walls of my bedroom and the only time I am active is when I to go to the kitchen to prepare food,” she said.
Nqamela added working from home was strenuous.
“Working from home meant working longer hours because I am constantly tuned in, whereas in the office I am there for certain hours and then leave the office,” she said.
Fleetwood said respondents highlighted issues of trust, the absence of on-thejob training and a sense of isolation, which could lead to the decay of the organisational culture many companies depended on for business performance.
The Economist Corporate Network’s director for Africa, Herman Warren, said according to the Global Normalcy Index, South Africa was at two-thirds of normal activity.
“The global normalcy Index, which looks at 50 countries across the world, tries to gauge how close we are to pre-pandemic levels of activity at a particular point in time. If this chart focused on SA, we would be around 60% of the norm,” he said.